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No. 5 Penn State Wrestlers Stun No. 3 Oklahoma State 21-18 in Stillwater

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Dec. 9, 2007

STILLWATER, Okla.; December 9, 2007 - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 5 nationally, used bonus points to post a stunning 21-18 win at No. 3 Oklahoma State. As Stillwater and the state of Oklahoma was hit with an ice storm, the Nittany Lions of veteran head coach Troy Sunderland chilled the crowd inside OSU's Iba Arena, utilizing five wins and pins from sophomore Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.) to win the battle of bonus points. The win was Penn State's first victory over Oklahoma State since a 38-7 win on Jan. 30, 1993, here in Stillwater.

The Nittany Lions and Cowboys each won five bouts, but in the end a 6-3 edge in riding time secured the victory. Nittany Lion senior Mark McKnight (McDonald, Pa.), ranked No. 6 nationally, got things started with a thrilling last-second takedown to post a 4-3 win at 125. Top-ranked Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State looked for bonus points of his own at 133, but feisty Penn State freshman Mike Eagen (Wharton, N.J.) held firm and only gave up a three-point decision. Tied 3-3, Penn State sent true freshman Garrett Scott (Alexandria, Pa.) to the mat against No. 6 Nathan Morgan of OSU. Morgan gave OSU a 6-3 lead with a 6-3 win, but the edge was short-lived.

Penn State sophomore Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.), ranked No. 4 at 149, silenced the rowdy OSU crowd by pinning Mike Bizzle at the 6:42 mark, putting Penn State back on top 9-6. Sophomore Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) added to Penn State's lead with a critical 5-4 win at 157. Vallimont, ranked No. 10, downed No. 20 Newly McSpadden in the only bout that featured two ranked wrestlers. But the Cowboys would not go quietly as OSU got major decisions out of its 12th-ranked 165 pounder and fourth-ranked 174 pounder to retake the lead, 14-12, heading into the dual's final three bouts.



Junior Phil Bomberger (Port Royal, Pa.) was once again impressive, downing talented Oklahoma State freshman 8-5 to give Penn State a 15-14 lead. Bomberger, ranked No. 19, posted a win that Penn State would not relinquish. Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.) shook off the ghosts of a sluggish start to pin OSU's Clayton Foster at the 5:50 mark to clinch the dual match victory. OSU's Jared Rosholt, ranked No. 8 at HWT, posted a major decision in the dual's final match-up but Penn State had already secured the win and the Lions left Iba Arena with a 21-18 win.

Penn State is off until Jan. 4 when No. 16 Cornell comes to Rec Hall for a 7 p.m. dual. All Penn State duals can be heard locally on WBLF AM (970) and WKVA (920 AM). Tickets for all regular season duals are on sale now at the athletic department ticket office in the Bryce Jordan Center. Single-dual tickets are $5 for adults and seniors and $3 for students 18 and under. Penn State students with a proper student ID are admitted free! Fans can call 814-863-1000 or 800-833-5533 to order single-dual tickets.

#5 Penn State 21, #3 Oklahoma State 18
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007 - Stillwater, Okla.

125: #6 Mark McKnight PSU dec. Ben Ashmore OSU, 4-33-0
133: #1 Coleman Scott OSU dec. Mike Eagen PSU, 8-23-3
141: #6 Nathan Morgan OSU dec. Garrett Scott PSU, 6-33-6
149: #4 Bubba Jenkins PSU pinned Mike Bizzle OSU, WBF (6:42)9-6
157: #10 Dan Vallimont PSU dec. #20 Newly McSpadden OSU, 5-412-6
165: #12 Jake Dieffenbach OSU maj. dec. Dave Rella PSU, 13-412-10
174: #4 Brandon Mason OSU maj. dec. David Erwin PSU, 8-012-14
184: #19 Phil Bomberger PSU dec. Cody Hill, 8-515-14
197: #1 Phil Davis PSU pinned Clayton Foster OSU, WBF 5:5021-14
HWT: #8 Jared Rosholt OSU maj. dec. Stefan Tighe PSU, 9-021-18

Attendance: 1,423
Records: Penn State (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten), Oklahoma State (5-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Next up for Penn State: Hosts No. 16 Cornell, Friday, Jan. 4, 2008; Rec Hall


125: Nittany Lion senior Mark McKnight (McDonald, Pa.), ranked No. 6 nationally, took on Oklahoma State's talented freshman Ben Ashmore at 125. McKnight got in on Ashmore's left leg and finished off the takedown for a 2-1 lead at the 1:25 mark. Each wrestler had slight scoring opportunities over the next minute, but it was McKnight who had the best shot, nearly getting a second takedown as the first period ended. But Ashmore strongly fought the move off and McKnight led by one after one. The Lion senior chose down to start the second period. Ashmore put together a strong ride, keeping his control over McKnight for the full two minutes. Each wrestler was called for stalling once in the process. Down by one, Ashmore chose down to start the third and escaped to a 2-2 tie, but Ashmore's riding time advantage put the Cowboy in charge. While McKnight needed the takedown, it was Ashmore who got in on the Lion's left thigh and nearly took the Nittany Lion senior down for a takedown. While McKnight did manage to fight off the move, Ashmore ate up all but four seconds of the bout and, having the riding time point clinched, had the match won. But the Nittany Lion senior scored a stunning takedown after the reset with just one second left and posted an amazing 4-3 win. McKnight's low shot, leading to a solid takedown at Ashmore's waist came quickly and quieted a raucous Cowboy crowd that was sensing an early upset at 125. The last-second victory gave the Nittany Lions an early 3-0 lead.

133: Penn State freshman Mike Eagen (Wharton, N.J.), continuing to fill in for injured starter Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.), took to the mats against the nation's top-ranked 133-pounder, Coleman Scott of OSU. Scott got the bout's first takedown at the 1:50 mark, getting Eagen to the mat at the 1:50 mark. Scott worked hard on top, looking to turn the Nittany Lion freshman to his back, but Eagen fought off the top-ranked Cowboy's efforts for the entire period and trailed only 2-0 after the first period. Scott, who had nearly two minutes of riding time in his favor, chose down to begin the second period and escaped to a 3-0 lead at the 1:46 mark. Scott added a second takedown at the :58 mark to up his lead to 5-0. Scott rode Eagen for the remainder of the period and led 5-0 after one period. Eagen chose down to begin the final period and was cut loose by Scott to a 5-1 deficit. Scott got in deep on Eagen's left ankle and added another takedown to lead 7-2 after cutting Eagen loose again. Scott also had a guaranteed riding time point. The Cowboy senior, needing one more takedown for bonus points, could not brake through Eagen's defense for the critical takedown and walked away with only an 8-2 decision. The victory tied the bout at 3-3.

141: True freshman Garrett Scott (Alexandria, Pa.) made his Penn State dual match debut, filling in for starter Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.), the third-ranked 141-pounder in the nation. Scott met No. 6 Nathan Morgan of Oklahoma State and quickly announced his presence with a near takedown at the 2:20 mark. Morgan managed to step outside of the move to keep the bout scoreless. Morgan then got in on both of Scott's ankles for his first real scoring chance, finishing off the move for a 2-0 lead at the 1:24 mark. Scott escaped with :42 left, cutting the OSU lead to 2-1, a lead he would carry into the second period. Morgan chose down to begin the second stanza and escaped to a 3-1 lead with 1:33 left in the middle period. Morgan added a second takedown at the 1:05 mark to up his lead to 5-2 lead after a quick Scott escape. The Nittany Lion freshman began pressuring the Cowboy senior, but Morgan's strong defense kept Scott from getting a takedown. Down 5-2, Scott chose down to begin the third period and was looking to escape before Morgan to up his riding time edge to a minute. Scott did escape, but not until Morgan built up a total of 1:30 in time. The escape cut Morgan's lead to 5-3, but Scott essentially needed two takedowns or back points to secure a win. While the Nittany Lion freshman worked for a score, Morgan kept up his defense and ate away at the clock. Morgan countered a late Scott shot and nearly added another takedown, but regardless, the move allowed Morgan to get the decision, a 6-3 win that put Oklahoma State up 6-3 in the dual.

149: Fourth-ranked sophomore Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) met Mike Bizzle of Oklahoma State at 149. Jenkins was the early aggressor and used a cement mixer to take Bizzle to his back for an early 5-0 lead. The Lion sophomore nearly got the pin, but Bizzle did a nice job of keeping his shoulders off the mat. Jenkins proceeded to put together a very strong ride, building up 1:33 in riding time as he rode Bizzle out to lead 5-0 after one period. Bizzle chose down to begin the second period and was allowed up by Jenkins as the Nittany Lion sophomore began looking for important bonus points. Jenkins upped his lead to 7-1 with a quick ankle pick on the edge of the mat just ten seconds into the period. Jenkins allowed Bizzle up and quickly hit another cement mixer, sending Bizzle quickly to his back for another two point takedown and two more back points. Jenkins led 11-3 after letting Bizzle up. But Bizzle answered with a takedown of his own to cut Jenkins' lead to 11-5. With just :04 left, Jenkins managed a quick escape at a reset to lead 12-5 heading into the final period. The Nittany Lion sophomore chose down to begin the third period and escaped to a 13-5 lead with 1:49 in riding time to boot. Bizzle once again got in on Jenkins' right leg, looking to get a critical takedown to avoid any bonus points. The duo scrambled for nearly a minute before Jenkins fought off Bizzle's single leg, quickly turned the Cowboy to his back and got a critical pin at the 6:42 mark. The six point victory put Penn State up 9-6 and set up the dual's marquee match-up.

157: Nittany Lion sophomore Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), ranked No. 10 nationally, met No. 20 Newly McSpadden at 157 in the lone match-up of ranked grapplers in the dual. Vallimont quickly gained control of McSpadden's right leg, getting in deep on the Cowboy junior and nearly getting an early takedown. But McSpadden managed to work his way off the mat to force a neutral reset. McSpadden took his turn with a solid offensive shot and forcing a scramble in the center of the mat. McSpadden got the early 2-0 lead. But Vallimont quickly tied the match by scoring a reversal off a reset with just :25 left in the period. Vallimont rode McSpadden out for the opening stanza's final seconds to keep the score tied at 2-2 heading into the second period. McSpadden chose down to begin the period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead. Vallimont took numerous shots, but McSpadden managed to step back, out of trouble each time. The Cowboy's defensive style allowed him to keep a 3-2 lead heading to the final period. Vallimont chose down to begin the final period and quickly escaped to tie the bout. A head-outside single by Vallimont gave the Nittany Lion sophomore another solid scoring chance and this time, he finished the chance with a takedown at the 1:10 mark to lead 5-3. McSpadden managed to escape with :38 left, cutting Vallimont's lead to 5-4. McSpadden quickly got in low on Vallimont's left, but the Lion sophomore managed to force a stalemate with just :11 left. Vallimont held off McSpadden's final offensive shots to post a critical 5-4 win and move Penn State out to a 12-6 lead.

165: Penn State's Dave Rella (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) met No. 12 Jake Dieffenbach in the next bout. Dieffenbach used a nice ankle pick to take an early 2-1 lead at the 2:05 mark. Rella began to work the Cowboy's shoulders and head, looking for an offensive opening. But neither wrestler could mount another real offensive charge and Dieffenbach took the 2-1 lead into the second period. The Cowboy senior chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Rella, a true sophomore, continued to look for offensive openings but Dieffenbach countered a Rella shot and managed to get a takedown call on the edge of the mat. The move put Dieffenbach up 5-1 with :48 left in the period. Rella escaped to a 5-2 deficit but Dieffenbach managed to trip Rella to the mat and his back for an outstanding five-point move and led 10-2 heading into the third period. Rella chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 10-3 deficit with 1:40 left. Riding time, at this point, was not a factor. Dieffenbach looked to secure bonus points with another takedown at the :38 mark and then rode Rella long enough to secure a 1:00 riding time edge before Rella escaped to a 12-4 deficit. But the Cowboy senior held on for a 13-4 major decision, cutting Penn State's lead to 12-10.

174: Yet another Nittany Lion sophomore, 174-pounder David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) met No. 4 Brandon Mason of Oklahoma State. Erwin took the bout's first shot but Mason countered and quickly finished a cradle, getting the takedown but not managing to turn Erwin to his back. The Nittany Lion sophomore did a fine job of fighting off the pin and avoiding the big scoring move. Still, the talented Cowboy junior built up over two minutes of riding time before finally getting the three-point near fall. Mason rode Erwin out and led 5-0 after one. Mason then chose the top to start the second period and continued to add to his two-plus minutes of riding time. Mason, an All-American last year, continued to work for back points but Erwin fought off his efforts for the entire period. Mason, however, kept his 5-0 lead and had a secured riding time point (4:43) heading into the final period. Erwin chose neutral to begin to final period and looked to keep Mason from posting a major decision and nearly got a takedown of his own. But Mason kept Erwin from completing a takedown and forced a reset with 1:10 left. Mason, however, got the critical takedown with :55 left to up his lead to 7-0. Erwin needed an escape to avoid the major decision. But Mason finished off the bout with a strong ride and posted an 8-0 major decision to allow the Cowboys to retake the lead, 14-12.

184: With the lead on the line in, Penn State junior Phil Bomberger (Port Royal, Pa.), ranked No. 19 nationally at 184, squared off against Cowboy Cody Hill. Bomberger had the first real shot at a takedown, getting in on Hill's ankles twice early in the first. But the Cowboy freshman fought off each move to keep the bout scoreless. While Bomberger put forth the most offensive pressure in the opening three minutes, Hill's defense was solid enough to keep the bout scoreless after one period. Hill chose down to begin the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. After a double stall was called on both wrestlers, Hill got a close takedown call with :35 left to up his lead to 3-0. Bomberger, however, reversed the Cowboy grappler and nearly pinned him, picking up two near fall points to lead 4-3 after the second period. Bomberger then chose down to start the third and escaped to a 5-3 lead. But Hill took the Lion junior down to tie the bout with 1:41 left to tie the bout. Hill let Bomberger up to a 6-5 lead and took Hill down on the edge of the mat but was not awarded a takedown. But the Nittany Lion junior was not to be denied with a textbook takedown with :38 left to take an 8-5 lead. Bomberger then rode Hill out to post a critical 8-5 win and give Penn State a slim 15-14 lead.

197: Needing a win to increase Penn State's but a pin to clinch the dual, Nittany Lion senior Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 nationally at 197, met OSU's Clayton Foster. The three time All-American gave up the first points, however, as Foster went up 2-0 with a takedown at the :45 mark. Davis escaped to a 2-1 deficit. Davis took a 3-2 lead with a takedown at the 1:10 mark and forced a reset with :54 left in the opening period. Davis began looking working for a far-side cradle, but Foster managed to keep the Lion senior from turning him to his back. Davis, leading 3-2 with :25 in riding time, chose down to begin the second stanza and was taken to his back for two near-fall points. Davis escaped to tie the bout at 4-4 and then quickly took foster down for a 6-4 lead at the 1:15 mark. The Harrisburg native continued to work for back points, but Foster was strong enough to keep Davis from increasing his lead. Foster, down 6-4, chose neutral to begin the third period but Davis was relentless, getting another takedown to increase his lead to 8-4 at the 1:40 mark. Davis then turned Foster to his back and fought his way to a thrilling dual-clinching pin at the 5:50 mark. The six points put Penn State up 21-14 and meant that the Nittany Lions would leave Stillwater with a thrilling road win over the third-ranked Cowboys.

HWT: A fifth Penn State sophomore, heavyweight Stefan Tighe (Erie, Pa.) met Oklahoma State sophomore Jared Rosholt at HWT. Rosholt entered the bout ranked No. 8 nationally. Rosholt managed to grab Tighe's left ankle and after a scramble, got an early takedown to lead 2-0 at the 2:15 mark. Rosholt then put together a very strong ride, building up a 2:14 riding time edge, turning Tighe briefly as the period ended, to lead 4-0 after one. Rosholt chose down to start the second stanza and escaped to a 5-0 lead. Tighe shot low on Rosholt midway through the second, nearly getting the Cowboy's ankles, but the eighth-ranked grappler managed to move back and keep his lead at 5-0. Tighe chose neutral to start the bout's final period and began working for a takedown of his own. The Nittany Lion sophomore was the offensive aggressor early in the third and nearly got a takedown with 1:20 left, but as the grapplers moved down to the mat, Rosholt managed to step behind Tighe and get a takedown of his own to lead 7-0 (with a guaranteed riding time point. Tighe also gave up a riding time point and Rosholt ended up with a solid 9-0 major decision. The four-points made the final score Penn State 21, Oklahoma State 18.


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