Nittany Lion wrestlers claim share of Big Ten regular season title

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers hammered visiting Michigan 34-7 in their Big Ten dual finale to claim a share of the Big Ten regular season dual meet championship. The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts, including seven straight to close out the dual.

True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 125, put on a takedown show in the first bout, posting 10 takedowns on route to a 22-10 major over Michigan's Grant Pizzo (with 3:19 in riding time). No. 16 Zac Stevens downed Nittany Lion sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 11-7 at 133 to cut Penn State's lead to one before No. 1 Kellen Russell majored Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) 12-2 at 141 to give UM a 7-4 lead.

Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally, hammered No. 7 Eric Grajales, posting a 6-1 win with 3:13 in riding time. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 6 at 157, followed that up with a 5-4 victory over Wolverine senior Brandon Zeerip to give Penn State a 10-7 lead heading into the halftime break.

Top-ranked sophomore All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) hammered No. 14 Dan Yates at 165, posting a 15-0 technical fall at the 5:25 mark. Fellow sophomore All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, then dominated No. 8 Justin Zeerip to the tune of a 12-1 major with 3:50 in riding time. Two-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 184 as the defending national champion, then clinched the dual victory with a pin of UM's Hunter Collins at the 5:25 mark.

With true freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) cleared to wrestle but held out as a precaution, red-shirt freshman 174-pounder Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) stepped up two weights once more and this time took down a ranked wrestler. Brown posted a late takedown to post a 3-1 win over No. 15 Max Huntley. Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 6 at heavyweight, capped off a resounding win by pinning No. 10 Ben Apland at the 3:58 mark to give the Nittany Lions the lopsided 34-7 win.

The Nittany Lions are now 11-1 overall, and 7-1 in the Big Ten, while Michigan falls to 6-5, 4-4. Penn State's 7-1 conference mark sets a new school record for Big Ten wins in a season and helped the team share the conference's regular season dual meet crown with Minnesota. Penn State's dominating performance showed up in the match's stats as well. The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts and picked up ten bonus points off two pins, a tech fall and two majors. The Nittany Lions owned a lopsided 24-9 edge in takedowns.

The Nittany Lions will head west to take on Utah Valley in a non-conference dual set for Saturday, Feb. 11, at 9 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Mountain (local to site). Penn State's final home dual of the season takes place on Sunday, Feb. 19, when the Lions entertain No. 9 Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. While seats for the dual are now sold out, a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets remain. Fans can purchase these SRO ducats by calling 1-800-NITTANY or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center box office.

#2 Penn State 34, #12 Michigan 7
February 5, 2012 - Rec Hall - University Park, Pa.

125: #9 Nico Megaludis PSU maj. dec. Grant Pizzo UM, 22-10, 4-0
133: #16 Zac Stevens UM dec. Frank Martellotti PSU, 11-7, 4-3
141: #1 Kellen Russell UM maj. dec. Bryan Pearsall PSU, 12-2, 4-7
149: #1 Frank Molinaro PSU dec. #7 Eric Grajales UM, 6-1, 7-7
157: #6 Dylan Alton PSU dec. Brandon Zeerip UM, 5-4, 10-7
165: #1 David Taylor PSU tech fall #14 Dan Yates UM, 15-0 (TF; 5:25) 15-7
174: #2 Ed Ruth PSU maj. dec. #8 Justin Zeerip UM, 12-1, 19-7
184: #2 Quentin Wright PSU pinned Hunter Collins UM, WBF (4:22) 25-7
197: Matt Brown PSU dec. #15 Max Huntley UM, 3-1, 28-7
285: #6 Cameron Wade PSU pinned #10 Ben Apland UM, WBF (3:58) 34-7
Attendance: 6,671
Records: #2 Penn State 11-1, 7-1 B1G; #12 Michigan 6-5, 4-4 B1G
Up next for Penn State: at Utah Valley, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m.


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Last Updated February 10, 2012