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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 1 Penn State (12-0, 8-0 B1G) dominated No. 11 Illinois (8-3, 5-3 B1G) in Big Ten dual meet action. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won eight of ten bouts against the Illini to roll to a 34-7 victory and remain perfect on the year.
Penn State's young line-up excelled in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd. The crowd of 6,645, the largest in Rec Hall this year, marks the 34th straight Rec Hall sell-out. Penn State has sold out 37 of its last 39 home events, including three of five in the 16,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center.
The dual began at 125 where true freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 2 nationally, opened up action with a dominant 17-6 major over Travis Piotrowski. Suriano posted seven takedowns in the win. . Sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) dropped a hard-fought 19-7 major decision to No. 6 Zane Richards at 133, briefly tying the dual at 4-4
Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 11 at 141, used two takedowns and two back points in the third period to roll over Mousa Jodeh, posting a 10-2 major to give the Nittany Lions an 8-4 lead. Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, pushed Penn State out to a 14-4 lead by pinning No. 19 Eric Barone at the 4:09 mark in the second stanza. The fall was Retherford's 12th of the year. Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, closed out the first half with a furious 26-11 tech fall over No. 12 Kyle Langenderfer at the 6:45 mark. The win gave Penn State a 19-4 lead at intermission.
In the dual's marquee match-up, red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, faced No. 1 Isaiah Martinez. Joseph pushed the two-time NCAA Champion to the limit before dropping a 5-2 decision. True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 at 174, finally got to wrestle a dual in Rec Hall, having received a forfeit victory vs. Northwestern on Jan. 29. Hall thrilled the largest Rec Hall crowd of the year with a dominating 16-1 technical fall (7:00) over No. 12 Zac Brunson to put Penn State up 24-7.
Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, dominated No. 12 Emery Parker, posting an 18-5 major thanks to a late takedown and four back points. Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 197, notched a 3-1 win over Andre Lee to give the Nittany Lions a 31-7 lead. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, closed out the dual by handling Brooks Black to the tune of a 5-0 decision with 5:10 in riding time.
Penn State owned a lop-sided 34-12 takedown edge. The Nittany Lions picked up ten bonus points off a pin (Retherford), two techs (Nolf, Hall) and three majors (Suriano, Gulibon, Nickal). Thanks to a 27-point margin of victory over Illinois, the Nittany Lions continued to dominate their completion, staying unbeaten and winning each dual meet so far by 15 points (26-11 at Iowa) or more. With the win, Penn State moves one step closer to claiming the 2017 Big Ten Wrestling Regular Season (dual meet) Championship alone. If Penn State beats Maryland on Sunday, the Lions would claim the crown outright, not having to share it.
Retherford is 17-0 with 12 pins, a forfeit, two techs and a major. Nolf is 17-0 with ten pins, a major and five techs. Nickal is 16-0 with 11 pins and three majors this season. The Nittany Lions are now 12-0, 8-0 in the Big Ten, and winners of 29 straight duals. Illinois falls to 8-3, 5-3 in the conference.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall its final home dual. The Nittany Lions host Maryland on Sunday at 2 p.m. and the match will also serve as Senior Day. All Rec Hall dual meets are sold out, but a very limited number of Standing Room Only tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. The 2016-17 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#1 Penn State 34, #11 Illinois 7
February 10, 2017 -- Rec Hall -- University Park, Pa.
125: #2 Nick Suriano PSU maj. dec. Travis Piotrowski ILL, 17-6 / 4-0
133: #6 Zane Richards ILL maj. dec. George Carpenter PSU, 19-7 / 4-4
141: #11 Jimmy Gulibon PSU maj. dec. Mousa Jodeh ILL, 10-2 / 8-4
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU pinned #19 Eric Barone ILL, WBF (4:09) / 14-4
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #12 Kyle Langenderfer ILL, 26-11 (TF; 6:45) / 19-4
165: #1 Isaiah Martinez ILL dec. #4 Vincenzo Joseph PSU, 5-2 / 19-7
174: #7 Mark Hall PSU tech fall #12 Zac Brunson ILL, 16-1 (TF; 7:00) / 24-7
184: #2 Bo Nickal PSU maj. dec. #12 Emery Parker ILL, 18-5 / 28-7
197: #9 Matt McCutcheon PSU dec. Andre Lee ILL, 3-1 / 31-7
285: #3 Nick Nevills PSU dec. #15 Brooks Black ILL, 5-0 / 34-7
Attendance: 6,645 (34th straight Rec Hall sell-out)
Records: Penn State 12-0, 8-0 B1G; Illinois 8-3, 5-3 B1G
Up Next for Penn State: home vs. Maryland, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. in Rec Hall
125: True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 2 at 125, took on Illinois freshman Travis Piotrowski. Suriano turned a fast single leg into a scramble that ended with a first takedown at the 1:45 mark. The Lion cut Piotrowski loose to a 2-1 score and continued to press on offense. Suriano pulled Piotrowski's head to the mat and worked his way behind him for a second takedown and a 4-2 lead after another cut. He roared through a high single for a third takedown and then worked on offense, building up over 1:00 in riding time with a ride out. Leading 6-2 with 1:12 in time, Suriano chose down to start the second period. He worked his way to an escape and a 7-2 lead with 1:35 on the clock and action resumed on the Nittany Lion logo. A quick, snapping takedown with 1:15 left gave Suriano a 9-2 lead. He picked up a point on a second Piotrowski stall and led 10-2 with 2:00 in riding time after two periods. Piotrowski chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 10-3 score. Suriano moved out to a 12-4 lead with 1:34 on the clock with another takedown and escape. He rolled through a high double and upped his lead to 14-5, cutting the Illini loose at the :56 mark. Suriano added one more takedown and, with 2:51 in time, posted the 17-6 major.
133: Sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) took on senior Zane Richards, ranked No. 6 at 133. Richards opened up an early lead, notching two takedowns in the opening minute to lead 4-2 with 1:51 on the clock. The sixth-ranked Illini tacked on another takedown and built up 1:30 in riding time before Carpenter escaped to a 6-3 score. Richards ended the period with a fourth takedown and led 8-3 with 1:48 in riding time. Carpenter chose down to start the second period and escaped to an 8-4 deficit. The Illini senior tacked on two more takedowns to up his lead to 12-6. The Illini added two takedowns in the final :25 to lead 16-7 with 2:26 in time after two periods. Richards chose neutral to start the third period. Carpenter fought off a solid Richards shot at the 1:20 mark, forcing a scramble in the middle of the mat. The scramble ended with Carpenter nearly notching the takedown but a stalemate ended action at the :35 mark. Richards notched a final takedown on a counter shot to posted the 19-7 major with 2:44 in riding time.
141: Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 11 at 141, battled Mousa Jodeh. Gulibon set the tempo early, taking numerous slight shots that forced Jodeh to counter and back away for the first minute-plus. The Lion senior continued to shoot, as Jodeh backed off and worked to hang on Gulibon's shoulders. Jodeh's defense kept Gulibon at arm's length and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Gulibon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The Lion senior broke through with a strong high double to open up a 3-0 lead with 1:25 on the clock. He then went to work on top, building up a riding time advantage while looking for a chance to turn the Illini for back points. Gulibon rode Jodeh out and led 3-0 with 1:15 in time after two periods. Jodeh chose down to start the third period and Gulibon made him pay. The Lion senior worked arm control into a tilt for two nearfall points and a 5-0 lead. With the riding time point clinched, Gulibon cut Jodeh loose and quickly took him down again for a 7-2 lead. Looking for bonus points, Gulibon roared through a head-inside single for a final takedown. He rode Jodeh out and, with 2:49 in time, posted a 10-2 major.
149: Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, faced off against No. 19 Eric Barone. Retherford and Barone battled evenly for the opening minute-plus before the Lion junior connected on a low single shot. He lifted Barone's leg off the mat and worked him down for a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Retherford maintained control of the Illini and then turned him to his back for two quick near fall points. He spent the rest of the period working a strong ride, forcing Barone to fight off turns, moving to the second period leading 4-0 with 1:54 in riding time. Retherford chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 5-0 lead. He forced Barone backwards, turning a high single into a takedown and a 7-0 lead. Retherford controlled the Illini's leg, turning him to his back and getting the pin at the 4:09 mark. 157: Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, battled No. 12 Kyle Langenderfer. Nolf shot just seconds into the bout, forcing Langenderfer to defend right off the opening whistle. The Illini fought off the first shot but Nolf used a throw to open up a 2-1 lead just seconds later. Nolf's relentless pressure led to a high double and a second takedown, giving the Lion sophomore a 4-1 lead with 1:56 on the clock. Nolf fought off Langenderfer's first shot of the dual, then took him down a third time and led 6-3. Nolf ended a furious first period to lead 12-5 off six takedowns. Nolf chose down to start the second period to up his lead to 13-5. He gave up a takedown with 1:30 on the clock and escaped to a 14-7 score. Langenderfer gave up a penalty point, Nolf took him down at the :35 mark and the Nittany Lion led 17-7 with :28 on the clock. Nolf rode the Illini out and led 17-7 with :41 in riding time after two periods. Langenderfer chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 17-8 score. Nolf quickly took the Illini down again to up his lead to 19-8 with 1:44 on the clock. The Lion sophomore used a strong single leg to up his lead to 21-9 with 1:10 left. Nolf cut Langenderfer loose and then took him down once more to up his lead to 23-11 with :40 on the clock. Langenderfer stalled and Nolf took him down one final time to post the 26-11 technical fall at the 6:45 mark.
165: Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, met unbeaten No. 1 Isaiah Martinez in the dual's marquee match-up. The duo battled evenly for the first :40, with Joseph fighting off an early Martinez shot to keep the bout scoreless at the 2:03 mark. Martinez pressed on offense and snapped his way by Joseph for an early takedown and a 2-0 lead with 1:10 on the clock. Joseph escaped to a 2-1 score and action resumed neutral with :50 left in the opening period. Joseph worked his way in on a high single with :30 left, nearly scoring. Martinez counter rolled and almost scored himself but a stalemate ended action and Martinez led 2-1 after one. Martinez chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Joseph kept the Illini junior at arm's length for the next minute plus. The duo traded shots in the middle of the mat but neither man connected and Martinez led 3-1 after two periods. Joseph chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 deficit. He fought off a solid Martinez shot to keep the bout close at the 1:08 mark, with a reset sending action back to the middle of the mat. The duo traded shots as the clock moved below :30. Martinez worked a high single into a scramble that ended with a stalemate at the :09 mark. Joseph shot Martinez off the mat, nearly hitting a go-ahead takedown. But Martinez countered for a bout clinching takedown to post the 5-2 decision.
174: True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 at 174, faced off against senior Zac Brunson, ranked No. 12. Hall, who received a forfeit victory in his Rec Hall debut two weeks earlier, picked up his first Rec Hall dual takedown at the 1:35 mark. He cut Brunson loose to a 2-1 score and continued to work the middle of the mat. Hall tried to throw Brunson and the Illini countered the move, notching a takedown that the Penn State bench challenged. The call was reversed and action resumed with Hall leading the Illini senior 2-1. Leading 2-1, Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Hall countered a low Brunson shot for his second takedown and a 5-1 lead with 1:21 on the clock. He then turned Brunson for four back points to up his lead to 9-1 with :40 on the clock. Hall reset himself and broke Brunson down to finish the period on top, leading 9-1 with 1:33 in riding time. Brunson chose neutral to start the third period and Hall quickly took him down to up his lead to 11-1. Hall picked up another point on two Brunson stalls and then ended the match in control of a four-point near fall, posting the 16-1 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.
184: Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, met No. 12 Emery Parker. The duo battled evenly on their feet for over two minutes before Nickal opened up a 2-1 lead on a takedown and cut. The Lion sophomore lifted Parker off the mat for a second takedown and a 4-2 lead after the Illini escaped with :40 on the clock. Nickal then walked his way out of trouble on a Parker high double. He stepped back and finished on top with a counter takedown to lead 6-2 after one period. Parker chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 6-3 score. The Lion sophomore countered a low Parker shot for a fourth takedown to up his lead to 8-3. Nickal built his riding time edge up to 1:38 before Parker escaped to an 8-4 score. Leading 8-4 with 1:38 in riding time, Nickal chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 9-5 lead. Nickal fought off a solid Parker shot to keep his lead at 9-4. He then pulled Parker to the mat, dove through a low double and led 11-4 after the nice combo. Parker escaped to an 11-5 score with :50 left to wrestle and Nickal began moving in for bonus points. The Lion sophomore blew through a final takedown, finished with four nearfall points to post the 18-5 major with 1:52 in riding time.
197: Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 197, battled sophomore Andre Lee. The duo battled evenly for the first two minutes with neither wrestler finding an opening to move through. The final minute was spent with hand fighting in the middle of the mat and action moved to the second period tied 0-0. McCutcheon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Like the first period, the duo worked high for the next minute-plus and McCutcheon connected on a low single at the :20 mark. Lee fought off the move for the final seconds of the period, however, and McCutcheon held a slim 1-0 lead after two periods. Lee chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. McCutcheon worked his way in on another high single and worked his way to a takedown at the :50 mark to lead 3-1. McCutcheon maintained control of the Illini for the rest of the period, finishing on top to post the 3-1 win.
285: Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, met junior Brooks Black, ranked No. 15. Nevills worked for shoulder control early, keeping Black on his feet on the Nittany Lion logo as the opening period hit its midway point. The duo continued neutral action for the remainder of the period, spending the opening three minutes on the Lion logo. Tied 0-0, Black chose down to start the second stanza. Nevills quickly broke the Illini down, working his riding time edge up while trying to turn the Illini. Black got called for a first stall and Nevills continued to work to turn him. Nevills took a 1-0 lead on a second Black stall. He turned black briefly but did not get the two-count and led 1-0 with 2:00 in riding time after two periods. Nevills chose down to start the third period and steadily worked his way to his feet, finishing off the escape at the 1:32 mark to open up a 2-0 lead. Nevills worked his way in on a low single, Black tried to step away, but Nevills finished off the move by diving in for the takedown and a 4-0 lead.