No. 3 Penn State Controls No. 20 Illinois 23-13 in Big Ten Wrestling Action
<div id="Content" readability="244.347750665"> Feb. 11, 2011
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The third-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, with head coach Cael Sanderson at the helm, controlled No. 20 Illinois 23-13 in a Big Ten dual meet in Rec Hall. Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa) got the dual's signature win with a key victory at 133.
The dual began at heavyweight where Nittany Lion junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 6, downed Pat Walker 5-0 to put Penn State up early. True freshman Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.) picked up his first Penn State dual meet win with a 6-5 victory at 125 over Logan Arlis. Long, ranked No. 9 at 133, thrilled a packed Rec Hall crowd with a 9-6 win over No. 7 B.J. Futrell at 133 to put the Lions up 9-0. Illinois senior Jimmy Kennedy, ranked No. 4 at 141, nipped Nittany Lion true freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 7, 5-3 at 149 in a marquee match-up, cutting Penn State's lead to 9-3. But two-time Penn State All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 5, sent Penn State into the halftime break with momentum after a lop-sided 5-0 win over Illinois' Eric Terrazas
Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) remained undefeated with a 26-10 dismantling of Illinois' Jackson Morse. Taylor, ranked No. 3, picked up the tech fall over Morse, who had 19 wins entering the bout, at the 6:21 mark. Taylor's win improves him to 29-0 on the year with 28 bonus point wins (12 tech falls, seven pins, nine majors). Illinois' Conrad Polz grabbed a hard-fought 10-5 win over Lion sophomore Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) at 165 to Penn State's lead to 17-6. Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, then pinned Ben Friedl at the 4:56 mark to put Penn State up 23-6. Ruth improved to 27-1 with 11 pins with the victory. Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 184, had a win in hand at 184, but a contested call at the buzzer gave Illinois' Tony Dellago a reversal with no time on the clock and an 8-7 upset win. Illinois tacked on a 15-6 major from Joe Barczak over freshman Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Ill.) at 197 to give Penn State the 23-13 final.
Tonight's dual meet, a BigTenNetwork.com StudentU production, will air on the Big Ten Network tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 8 a.m. The Nittany Lions improve to 16-1, 5-1 in the Big Ten while Illinois falls to 4-5-1, 2-4-1 in conference action. Penn State's 16 dual wins is most since team went 18-3 in 1998. The crowd of 5,117 is Penn State's fifth 5,000-plus crowd of the year in six home events. Illinois owned an 18-17 edge in takedowns, with seven of them coming at 197. The Nittany Lions won six of the dual's ten bouts and tacked on five bonus points off a pin and a tech fall. Illinois had one major for one bonus point.
Penn State returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 13, when it visits No. 5 Minnesota in a 3 p.m. (Eastern) dual in Minneapolis. The Big Ten Network production is a same day tape delay broadcast, airing Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Tickets are selling fast for Penn State's dual meet finale in Rec Hall (Feb. 18 vs. Wisconsin) but are still available. Fans wishing to purchase tickets can place their orders by calling 814-865-5555 or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket pricing is $8 for adults and $5 for youth, and there will be a limit of eight tickets per order. Group sales are also available. The 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC
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