UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State Nittany Lions (13-0, 9-0 B1G), wrestling without top-ranked Jason Nolf at 157, rolled over visiting Iowa (11-3, 6-3 B1G) in front of nearly 16,000 fans in the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday night. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad closed out its Big Ten dual slate with a 28-13 win over the Hawkeyes, ending the year as the conference’s lone unbeaten squad and winning the 2018 Big Ten Regular Season (Dual Meet) title outright.
Penn State used two quick pins in the second half to run away from No. 7 Iowa, getting fast falls from Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.) at 174 and Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas) at 184. The duo posted two of Penn State’s seven wins in the dual meet.
The dual began at 125 where senior Carson Kuhn (Sandy, Utah) took on his second straight highly ranked opponent. Kuhn took on No. 3 Spencer Lee of Iowa in the dual’s opening match-up, and the ranked Hawkeye got a fall at the 2:06 mark. Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.) put the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard with a 5-2 win over Paul Glynn, cutting the Hawkeye lead to 6-3. True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 8 at 141, posted a 11-8 win over Hawkeye Vince Turk, tying the dual at 6-6.
Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, dominated No. 2 Brandon Sorensen in one of the bout’s most anticipated match-ups. Retherford rolled to a 6-2 win including 3:07 in riding time thanks in large part to a full second period rideout. With No. 1 Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) out at 157, Lion freshman Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) took on No. 2 Michael Kemerer. Kemerer posted a 14-4 major to give Iowa a 10-9 lead at intermission.
Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, led No. 7 Alex Marinelli throughout the bout but, on a throw attempt of his own, was tripped to his back and lost 9-6. Sophomore Hall ranked No. 2 at 174, brought the fans to their feet by pinning Joey Gunther, locking up a cradle at the 1:00 mark to give Penn State a 15-13 lead. Junior Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 184, followed suit with a cradle of his own and pinned Mitch Bowman in just :50. Nickal’s pin gave Penn State a 21-13 lead.
Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) stepped up at 197 and took on No. 7 Cash Wilcke of Iowa and continued to showcase Penn State’s wealth of riches at 197. Rasheed dominated the ranked Hawkeye, rolling up four takedowns, including one with just :04 left. The late takedown, and 3:52 in riding time, gave Rasheed a rousing 11-2 major and clinched the dual for the Nittany Lions. Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 6 at 285, sent the record crowd home in great spirits, using a third period takedown and strong offense on his feet to post a 3-2 win over No. 3 Sam Stoll. Nevills’ victory gave Penn State the 28-13 dual meet victory.
Penn State nearly doubled up Iowa in takedowns, posting a 17-10 advantage. The Nittany Lions won seven of ten bouts and picked up seven bonus points off two pins (Hall, Nickal) and a major (Rasheed). The victory moves Penn State’s dual meet win streak to 44, dating back to the 2014-15 season. It is also Penn State’s 25th straight Big Ten dual meet victory. Retherford now has 117 career wins, 14th all-time at Penn State. Nickal now has 13 pins this year, 38 for his career, good enough for sixth all-time at Penn State. Hall now has nine this year, 21 for his career. The sell-out crowd of 15,998 is the largest ever to witness an NCAA dual meet held at an indoor venue (breaking the indoor mark that Penn State held, set in the BJC on Dec. 8, 2013, against Pitt).
The Nittany Lions will close out their dual meet schedule next Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. when they host Buffalo in Rec Hall.
#1 Penn State 28, #7 Iowa 13
February 10, 2018 – Bryce Jordan Center – University Park, Pa.
125: #3 Spencer Lee IOWA pinned Carson Kuhn PSU, WBF (2:06) 0-6
133: Corey Keener PSU dec. Paul Glynn IOWA, 5-2 3-6
141: #8 Nick Lee PSU dec. Vince Turk IOWA, 11-8 6-6
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU dec. No. 2 Brandon Sorensen IOWA, 6-2 9-6
157: #2 Michael Kemerer IOWA maj. dec. Bo Pipher PSU, 14-4 9-10
165: #7 Alex Marinelli IOWA dec. #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU, 9-6 9-13
174: #2 Mark Hall PSU pinned Joey Gunther IOWA, WBF (1:00) 15-13
184: #1 Bo Nickal PSU pinned Mitch Bowman IOWA, WBF (0:50) 21-13
197: Shakur Rasheed PSU maj. dec. #7 Cash Wilcke IOWA, 11-2 25-13
285: #6 Nick Nevills PSU dec. #3 Sam Stoll IOWA, 3-2 28-13
Attendance: 15,998 (4th of 6 sellouts in BJC, 44th of 46 overall including 40 straight in Rec Hall)
Records: Penn State 13-0, 9-0 B1G; Iowa 11-3, 6-3 B1G
Up Next for Penn State: home vs. Buffalo, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m. in Rec Hall