LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell 197-pounder Tyler Lyster scored a winning takedown with less than five seconds remaining in his bout and heavyweight Joe Stolfi pinned his opponent to turn a late one-point lead into a solid 24-14 victory over Columbia Friday evening at Davis Gym. The Bison, who host Army Saturday at 4 p.m., improved to 4-7 on the year and 1-0 against EIWA competition.
Bucknell led 15-0 early in the match as Austin Miller, Paul Petrov, Derrik Russell and Adam Healey won the first four bouts. However, Columbia (3-4, 0-2 EIWA) answered with four consecutive wins to narrow the Bison advantage to 15-14 heading into the two heaviest matches.
Bucknell was buoyed by bonus-point victories by Stolfi and Petrov, who earned a pin at 133 pounds. The Lions, who had a pair of ranked grapplers in their lineup, also had a pair of bonus-point wins, but they were only for major decisions.
"The thing we talked all week about going into this match is how important bonus points are," said Bucknell head coach Dan Wirnsberger. "They were especially important since on paper it looked like a 50-50 split. We came a point away from bonus points at 125 and then at 133 Petrov gets the pin. That was huge and got it rolling for us."
Lyster trailed Nicholas Mills 2-1 entering the third period of their match. Mills started the third period on top and delayed a Lyster escape until his riding time had slipped under one minute. The score remained 2-2 until the final seconds when Lyster took Mills down to the mat, clinching the victory. Lyster's riding time also jumped up to the one-minute mark, giving him a 5-2 victory, his 15th of the year to rank second on the team.
The match was still not decided when Stolfi took the mat in the final bout of the match, but he quickly left no doubt as he built a sturdy 10-0 advantage before pinning Chris Manna in 6:35. Stolfi nearly had a pin at the end of the first period, but time ran out before he could complete it.
Miller led things off with a 9-2 decision over Penn Gottfried at 125 pounds, while Petrov followed with his first career pin in 4:08 vs. Andrew Grabfelder. Petrov, who is now 12-8 on the year, led 6-1 at the time of the pin.
There was some controversy in Russell's victory as Columbia coach Carl Fronhofer requested a review of the timing of an escape that occurred in the final minute of the bout. The escape was reviewed and the call stood with Russell's riding time showing exactly one minute and the score tied 1-1. Russell melted away the final 16 seconds after the review and posted a 2-1 victory over Angelo Amenta to stake the Bison to a 12-0 advantage.
Healey followed with a 6-1 decision over Ryan Ponte at 149 pounds to make it 15-0.
One of the more exciting matches of the night came at 184 pounds where Marchese lost to Drew Rebling by a 7-6 decision with the crowd yelling in the background. Marchese benefitted from a second stall warning whistle on Rebling and led 6-4 entering the waning seconds. However, Rebling scored a reversal and earned the riding time point to post the one-point victory and draw Columbia within one point with two bouts remaining.
Vincent Favia dropped a 10-2 major decision to No. 18 Jake O'Hara at 157 pounds, while Stephen McPeek lost by a tight 4-2 decision to No. 17 Stephen West at 174 in the only bouts of the night involving ranked wrestlers.
Bucknell will continue its stretch of six home matches in 22 days when it hosts Army Saturday at 4 p.m. Fans can watch on Bison Vision. Admission is free.
125: Austin Miller (BKN) dec. Penn Gottfried (COL), 9-2
133: Paul Petrov (BKN) pinned Andrew Grabfelder (COL), 4:08.
141: Derrik Russell (BKN) dec. Angelo Amenta (COL), 2-1.
149: Adam Healey (BKN) dec. Ryan Ponte (COL), 6-1.
157: No. 18 Jake O'Hara (COL) maj. dec. Vincent Favia (BKN), 10-2.
165: Josh Houldsworth (COL) maj. dec. Ray Schlitt (BKN), 9-0.
174: No. 17 Stephen West (COL) dec. Stephen McPeek, 4-2.
184: Drew Rebling (COL) dec. Robert Marchese (BKN), 7-6.
197: Tyler Lyster (BKN) dec. Nicholas Mills (COL), 5-2.
285: Joe Stolfi (BKN) pinned Chris Manna (COL), 6:35.