No. 2 Penn State rolls over Wisconsin in dual meet

From staff reports

MADISON — The Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) ranked No. 2 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, rolled through No. 4 Wisconsin (10-4, 3-4 Big Ten) in a Top-5 Big Ten dual meet in Madison. The Lions used three victories over ranked opponents to post a 29-10 win over the homestanding Badgers.

The Lions won seven of 10 bouts, including the final five to erase a small halftime deficit on their way to the lopsided dual meet victory. Penn State is wrapping up a run of four-of-five road duals in 16 days, including action at Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. All rankings listed are InterMat, the official wrestling rankings of the Big Ten Conference.

The dual began at 125 where freshman Brandon Meredith dropped a 4-0 decision to Eric Barnett. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young, ranked No. 2 at 133, then met No. 1 Seth Gross in one of the dual’s many anticipated matchups. The duo put on a show that ended with Bravo-Young nearly notching a last-second takedown, not getting the call as time ran out, and dropping a close 6-5 bout.

Junior Nick Lee, ranked No. 2 at 141, then dominated No. 7 Tristan Moran. The Lion notched two takedowns and a number of nearfalls in posting a 14-1 major decision with 4:29 in riding time over the ranked Badger to cut the Wisconsin lead to 6-4. Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren gave Penn State the lead at 149 with a 3-2 win over No. 15 Cole Martin. Verkleeren battled the ranked Badger evenly for the entire bout and used a late takedown to post the win, giving Penn State a 7-6 lead. Junior Bo Pipher dropped a 13-4 major to Garrett Model at 157 and Penn State trailed 10-7 at halftime.

Senior Vincenzo Joseph, ranked No. 1 at 165, met No. 3 Evan Wick in another marquee bout. Joseph controlled the action from start to finish. The Lion senior used two takedowns, a reversal, a stall point and 4:08 in riding time to roll to an 8-0 major decision and put Penn State back on top, 11-10. Senior Mark Hall, ranked No. 2 at 174, then stretched Penn State’s lead to 17-10, pinning Wisconsin’s Jared Krattiger at the 4:16 mark.

True freshman Aaron Brooks, ranked No. 7 at 184, extended the Penn State lead, posting a 3-2 win over Badger senior Johnny Sebastian. Brooks used a takedown in the third period for the bout’s key points. Senior Shakur Rasheed, ranked No. 18 at 197, clinched the dual meet victory with a solid 6-0 win over Wisconsin’s Taylor Watkins. Rasheed’s win put Penn State up 23-10 with just one bout. True freshman Seth Nevills, ranked No. 15 at 285, received a forfeit victory at 285 and Penn State posted the dominant 29-10 victory in Madison.

Penn State had an 11-7 takedown edge and won seven of ten bouts, including the last five. The Nittany Lions picked up eight bonus points off a forfeit (Nevills), a pin (Hall) and two majors (Lee, Joseph).

Penn State is now 9-2 overall, 6-1 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin falls to 10-4, 3-4 in the conference. Penn State visits Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern in another BTN national telecast.