Feb. 18, 2011

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Jenison Field House)
Score: #11 Michigan 24, Michigan State 15
Records: U-M (11-5, 5-3 Big Ten), Michigan State (9-8, 1-6 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sat-Sun., March 5-6 -- at Big Ten Championships (Evanston, Ill.), 10 a.m. CST/1 p.m. CST

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team used bonus points and a late surge to cruise past Michigan State, 24-15, in the dual-meet finale on Friday evening (Feb. 18) at Jenison Field House.

Down three points with just two matches remaining, junior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) and senior/junior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) claimed a technical fall and pin at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, to overwhelm the Spartans.

Stevens ended his 133-pound match early, scoring nine takedowns and adding a three-point near fall in the first period to claim a 22-7 technical fall -- the fourth of his career and first in three seasons. The Wolverine wrestler converted the bulk of his takedowns in the first period, bookending the frame with a pair of head in the holes and finding a leg turk on the latter to tack on his three backs points at the buzzer. He scored on three more takedowns in the second and used a counter attack to end the bout at 5:46.

Top-ranked Russell made little work of Levi Stance in the final bout, countering an MSU shot to secure a quick takedown before using a figure four to claim his fourth pin of the season, ending the match at the 0:48 mark. Russell improved to 30-0 on the season and extended his dual-meet winning streak to 32 consecutive matches.

The Wolverines opened the dual in equally impressive fashion as sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) earned his third win over a ranked opponent this season, rolling to a 10-1 major decision against 20th-ranked Dan Osterman at the opening weight of 149 pounds. The Wolverine rookie broke open the scoreless match midway through the second, scoring on a headlock out of bounds, and after riding out the frame, rode long enough in the third to gain time advantage. Grajales pulled away in the closing minute, countering an Osterman single leg to score before adding a pair of late two-point tilts, including one at the final buzzer to gain the major margin.

Sophomore/freshman Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) cruised at 165 pounds, spending a majority of the match on top en route to a 5-1 decision against Nick Kaczanowski. Yates struck on an early single leg in the first, rolled for a quick reversal in the second and rode out the third, accumulating 4:10 in time advantage.

The Spartans won back-to-back matches at 174 and 184 pounds to carry a narrow advantage into the intermission break. Fifth-year senior Aaron Hynes (Mt. Morris, Mich./Flint Kearsley HS) wrestled the former bout up two weights, losing a 4-2 heartbreaker to Curran Jacobs in overtime. With the match knotted a two apiece late in the third, Hynes nearly had a takedown twice in the closing second -- first with a whizzer before almost turning to corner on the edge as time ran out. The MSU wrestler used a single-leg takedown to end the bout 14 seconds into the extra period.

Fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo (Clinton Twp., Mich./Chippewa Valley HS) picked up a 10-4 decision over familiar foe Tyler Dickenson at 197 pounds, distancing himself down the stretch with a three-takedown third period. Biondo, ranked 11th, opened scoring with a quick second-period escape and converted on a subsequent high crotch, wrapping up two legs on the edge, to carry a two-point edge into the final frame. The Wolverine captain scored on a throw by, a single leg and, finally, a late counter attack to ice the match.

Junior/sophomore Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) won a close one against Joe Rizqallah in the heavyweight contest, making a first-period takedown hold up for a 3-2 decision victory. Apland, ranked 16th nationally, took advantage on an early flurry on the edge of the mat, blasting through a double leg and dragging his toes in bounds to convert the takedown. The wrestlers traded escapes but neither committed to another shot in regulation.

Michigan State picked up unexpected bonus points in the 125-pound match, where sophomore Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy), despite dictating the early pace against Eric Olanowski, got caught in a cement mixer and pinned at 1:02. The fall gave the Spartans' their temporary late lead, which U-M erased with its commanding performances in the final two bouts.

The Wolverines will take the next two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten Championships, scheduled for March 5-6 in Evanston, Ill. Hosted by Northwestern University, the tournament will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

#11 Michigan 24, Michigan State 15
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score 149 -- Eric Grajales (U-M) major dec. #20 Dan Osterman, 10-1 U-M, 4-0 157 - Sean McMurray (MSU) dec. #20 Brandon Zeerip, 8-2 U-M, 4-3 165 -- Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Nick Kaczanowski, 5-1 U-M, 7-3 174 -- Curran Jacobs (MSU) dec. Aaron Hynes, 4-2 SV U-M, 7-6 184 -- Ian Hinton (MSU) dec. Hunter Collins, 7-3 MSU, 9-7 197 -- #11 Anthony Biondo (U-M) dec. Tyler Dickenson, 10-4 U-M, 10-9 Hwt -- #16 Ben Apland (U-M) dec. Joe Rizqallah, 3-2 U-M, 13-9 125 -- Eric Olanowski (MSU) pinned Sean Boyle, 1:02 MSU, 15-13 133 -- Zac Stevens (U-M) tech. fall Chris Lyon, 22-7 (5:46) U-M, 18-15 141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) pinned Levi Stance, 0:48 U-M, 24-15
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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