STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - In yet another sold out Rec Hall, the top-ranked Penn State wrestling team crushed No. 24 Wisconsin 36-6 to stay unbeaten on the year. Senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) picked up a pin for win 100 and red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) notched the dual's signature victory to thrill the Lion faithful.
With the match starting at heavyweight, No. 11 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin notched the first win for a Big Ten opponent against Penn State this year, posting a hard fought 6-3 victory over No. 16 Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.). All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) made short work of the Badger lead, however, posting a 22-7 four-point technical fall (no back points) to put Penn State on top 4-3.
That set the stage for red-shirt freshman Conaway, who 6,515 Penn State faithful through the roof of Rec Hall. Conaway battled back from a 7-3 deficit in the third period to stun No. 3 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin 10-8 in sudden victory. Conaway posted two late takedowns, including one with less than :20 left, to tie the bout at 8-8 and sent it into extra time. After fighting off a Graff shot, Conaway brought the sell-out crowd to its feet with a takedown and a 10-8 win. Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) kept the momentum going with a quick first period pin over Wisconsin's Tom Kelliher, getting the fall at 1:22. Wisconsin picked up a second win at 149 as senior Cole Schmitt downed Lion senior James English (York, Pa.) in a wild one, winning 8-4 in two tie-breakers. The Badger victory cut Penn State's lead to 13-6 heading into halftime.
Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) got the second half off to a good start, posting a strong 5-3 win over Wisconsin's Kalvin York at 157. All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, then rolled to a 25-7 technical fall at the 6:22 mark over Frank Cousins, putting Penn State up 21-6. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, kept the rout going with a 12-8 win over UW's Scott Liegel. All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, won by forfeit at 184, setting up a keystone moment for a local product.
Wright, a three-time All-American, National Champion in 2011 and ranked No. 3 at 197, picked up his 100th career win in sizzling fashion. The Nittany Lion turned a first period takedown of No. 20 Jackson Hein into a spladle and picked up the signature win by pin at the 1:24 mark. The victory made Wright the 27th member of Penn State's 100-win club and improved his career mark to 100-23. It also posted the final dual score, giving the Nittany Lions a lop-sided 36-6 win.
Penn State won the takedown battle 28-8 and rolled to a 9-0 edge in bonus points thanks to two pins and two tech falls (one five-pointer and one four-pointer). The win moves Penn State to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in Big Ten action. Wisconsin falls to 6-3, 3-1 in conference action.
--PSU Athletic Communications--