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wrestling-d1 flag | January 20, 2014

Michigan takes down No. 2 Minnesota

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Freshman heavyweight Adam Coon used an overtime takedown to knock off two-time defending NCAA champion Tony Nelson and seal No. 19 Michigan's 19-14 victory against No. 2 Minnesota on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,354 fans at Cliff Keen Arena. The Wolverines won six individual matches in the dual, improving to 3-0 in Big Ten Conference competition, while dealing Minnesota its first loss of the season.

With just two points separating the teams, the dual came down to the final match, featuring the nation's top heavyweights -- No. 1 Coon and No. 2 Nelson. The wrestlers traded escapes in regulation and the first tiebreaker, neither riding for longer than 10 seconds. Coon got in deep on several shots earlier in the contest but scored his winning takedown off a counter attack in the second sudden-victory frame, turning the corner on a Nelson double leg to claim the match 4-2. He improved to 23-0 on the season.

The Wolverines jumped out to a significant early advantage, claiming five of the first six matches to lead 16-3 entering Minnesota's gauntlet of ranked upperweights. Among the early victories, Michigan earned back-to-back upsets from fifth-year senior Eric Grajales and freshman Brian Murphy at 149 and 157 lbs., respectively, to put U-M in excellent shape at the intermission break.

Grajales, ranked 12th at 149, took advantage of a big early lead to knock off No. 2 Nick Dardanes 6-4. Grajales struck first on an arm spin midway through the first period and rode out the rest of the period and all of the second. He added a penalty point in the third before giving up a pair of late takedowns in the waning moments that narrowed the final score.

Murphy, ranked 15th, rallied from an initial deficit against eighth-ranked Dylan Ness at 157, scoring takedowns in the second and third periods to seal a 5-2 decision. After a scoreless first period, Ness grabbed the first lead with a quick escape in the second and subsequent low single-leg takedown. Muprhy escaped and shot in on a late single-leg attack of his own, limp-arming out of a whizzer to get the takedown at the buzzer. With the score deadlocked, Murphy choose neutral in the third and countered a late Ness single-leg shot to score the winning takedown in the final 10 seconds of the match.

The Wolverines also earned early wins from sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey and senior/junior Steve Dutton at 125 and 141 lbs., respectively. Youtsey jumped out to a big early lead en route to a 12-6 decision against Sam Brancale in the opening match, scoring two takedowns and a pair of back points -- off a head scoop -- in the first period. He rode out the second and earned a reversal and three-point near fall in the third but gave up a late counter takedown and back points to lose the bonus point.

Dutton also cruised in his 141-pound match against Josh Shupe, scoring three takedowns and eight back points, including a pair of three-point tilts, en route to a 16-3 major decision. Dutton appeared to have the technical fall in hand but had to take injury late, which cost him an escape point. Dutton, who made his Michigan debut last Friday at Illinois, improved to 2-0 in the Wolverine lineup.

Michigan came out of the intermission break with a win from fifth-year senior Dan Yates at 165 lbs. Yates, ranked seventh, scored on two first-period takedowns and rode for 2:38 en route to a 7-5 decision against Brandon Kingsley.

The Gophers won three consecutive matches at the upperweights, earning bonus points at 174 and 197 lbs., to pull within two points on the scoreboard and set up the Coon-Nelson finale at heavyweight.

No. 1 Penn State 39, No. 14 Northwestern 8

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State, ranked No. 1 nationally, blazed past No. 14 Northwestern in front of the 16th consecutive home sellout for Penn State. Penn State won eight of 10 bouts for the second time in three days and posted the 39-8 Big Ten dual win against the visiting Wildcats.

The dual started at 125 where Nittany Lion All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, put on a takedown clinic on his way to a 23-6 technical fall against Northwestern’s Garrison White. Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon, ranked No. 15 nationally, then picked up his first Rec Hall dual meet win at 133, posting a convincing 8-2 victory against NU’s Dominick Malone. True freshman Zain Retherford, unbeaten and ranked No. 2 at 141, then posted an 11-2 major against NU junior Pat Greco.

Red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz nearly upset No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis at 149, but the ranked Wildcat was able to post the 5-3 sudden victory decision. Senior James Vollrath then pinned Northwestern’s Ben Sullivan at the 4:01 mark to send Penn State into the halftime break up 18-3.

Senior All-American David Taylor, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at 165, rolled through No. 9 Pierce Harger, posting the 17-2 technical fall at the 4:45 mark. Junior All-American Matt Brown, ranked No. 3 at 174, then downed No. 9 Lee Munster. Brown was up 10-1 at the 3:56 mark before Munster had to take an injury default. Senior All-American Ed Ruth, ranked No. 2 nationally at 184, pinned Northwestern’s Jacob Berkowitz quickly, getting the fall at the 1:36 mark, giving the Nittany Lions a 35-3 lead.

Sophomore Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 7 at 197, was impressive with a 17-8 major against No. 17 Alex Polizzi to put the Lions up 39-2 as Northwestern was deducted a team point for a second bench warning. In one of the dual’s most anticipated match-ups, Nittany Lion junior Jimmy Lawson, ranked No. 12 at 285, took on No. 4 Mike McMullan. McMullan used a quick move on the edge of the mat to take Lawson down with at the 2:44 mark when Lawson called for injury time. He was not able to continue and McMullan got the injury default victory, making the final score 39-8 Penn State.

Penn State improves to 10-0 on the year, 4-0 in Big Ten action, while Northwestern falls to 6-4, 1-4 Big Ten.

No. 13 Pittsburgh 19, No. 5 Oklahoma State 18

PITTSBURGH  -- Thirteenth-ranked Pittsburgh (9-1) won a thrilling 19-18 dual against No. 5 Oklahoma State (4-4) on Sunday afternoon at Fitzgerald Field House.

With his team trailing by three going into the final match, senior heavyweight P.J. Tasser was able to bring the crowd of 1,921 to its feet with an overtime takedown of OSU’s Austin Marsden to even the score at 18-18. The Panthers then were awarded the tiebreaking bonus point on criteria thanks to a pin from freshman Mikey Racciato at 149 lbs.

Oklahoma State started out the match with victories at 125 and 133 lbs. to take an early 7-0 lead before freshman Edgar Bright was able to knock off Anthony Collica at 141 lbs. Bright jumped on 12th-ranked Collica early scoring the match’s first takedown and not letting up adding three more takedowns, an escape and a bonus point for riding time to take the match 10-5.

Racciato gave Pitt its first lead of the afternoon when he was able to pin eighth-ranked Josh Kindig at 149 lbs. Kindig scored the lone takedown in the match but Racciato was able to score a quick reversal and get Kindig to his back eventually completing the fall at the 1:23 mark to send the crowd into a frenzy.

The Cowboys rallied to win the next three matches, including a highly controversial overtime bout at 174 lbs. between Tyler Wilps and second-ranked Chris Perry, to take an 18-9 lead with a three bouts left to go.

Max Thomusseit picked up a decision against Nolan Boyd at 184 lbs. to start the Panthers’ comeback. Thomusseit and Boyd entered the third even at 3-3 when Boyd was able to turn Thomusseit for two back points to gain a 5-3 edge. Thomusseit kept his composure and scored a reversal to even the match. With a bonus point for riding time locked up, Thomusseit cut Boyd and was able to score off a high single with 20 seconds left in the match to earn the 8-6 decision.

At 197 lbs., Pitt needed Nick Bonaccorsi to win in order to keep its hopes of a victory alive and the redshirt sophomore delivered with a decision against Kyle Crutchmer. After the two combatants exchanged escapes, the match went to overtime even at 1-1. Bonaccorsi was the aggressor in overtime and was able to get in on a leg quickly and work his way around for the takedown to secure the 3-1 win and get the Panthers within striking distance heading into the final bout of the day.

Tasser stepped to the mat with the match on the line and his team trailing 18-15 giving up nearly 50 lbs. to No. 14 Austin Marsden but he would not be denied when he capitalized on a double leg shot near the Pitt bench in the first sudden victory period of overtime to give him a 3-1 win and tie the match at 18-18, allowing the Panthers to win on criteria.

No. 7 Missouri 16, Central Michigan 15

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Missouri slid past conference rival Central Michigan 16-15 on Sunday afternoon, thanks in large part to a bonus point victory from true freshman J'den Cox. Cox and the Tigers took an early 10-0 lead and never surrendered it to the Chippewas, who found a way to climb back to within a point twice. Both squads won five matches a piece on the afternoon.

Cox (22-2) put up nine quick points versus Jackson Lewis at 197 pounds, thanks to a flurry of backpoints in the first moments of the bout. He added a second-period escape and a point for riding time, taking the match 11-0. Cox's win was his sixth major decision of the season, and his 12th in bonus points.

Junior heavyweight Devin Mellon increased the Tigers lead to 10-0 with an 8-3 decision against Adam Robinson. Mellon looked sharp offensively on Sunday, taking Robinson down three times, including twice in the final minute.

The Chippewas clawed back to within a point after three consecutive wins at 125, 133 and 141. For the second time this season, Mayes and CMU's Zach Horan found themselves in a nail-biter, with No. 9 Horan escaping by a two-point takedown. Mayes attempted to throw Horan at the end of overtime, but Horan rolled over the top and secured a takedown in the final seconds to win 3-1. The two met at the Southern Scuffle earlier this season, with Horan escaping in overtime as well, also in a 3-1 decision.

Head Coach Brian Smith opted to remove the redshirt off of freshman Joey Lavallee, who got his first collegiate start at 157 pounds for the Tigers. Lavallee wrestled No. 20 Luke Smith tough, giving up only an escape to Smith in the second. Smith added two backpoints with two seconds remaining in the third, and won by decision 4-0.

With the Tigers leading by four points heading into the final bout at 174, No. 17 Mikey England faced off with No. 10 Mike Ottinger. Ottinger, looking for bonus points, took England to two overtimes, where he would get the decision 5-4 after 16 seconds of ride time in the two extra periods. The decision fell short, sealing the Tigers 16-15 victory.

Mizzou improves to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in MAC play as they avenge a 17-16 loss to the Chippewas from last year.

No. 9 UNI 19, No. 4 Oklahoma 17

NORMAN, Okla. -- It was like déjà vu for UNI as it knocked off undefeated No. 4 Oklahoma 19-17.

Just as it did last season in the West Gym at UNI, the team win came down to the final match of the dual. UNI didn’t come out with the victory in heavyweight, but it had built a lead that Oklahoma was unable to overcome.

UNI got out front 12-0 and Dylan Peters and Joey Lazor beat two highly ranked opponents before the Sooners could get on the board.

UNI improved to 6-0 in duals. The Panthers are ranked second to Missouri in the Mid-American Conference.