LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell built a 21-0 lead by winning the first seven bouts of Saturday afternoon's wrestling dual against George Mason and ended up holding on for a commanding 21-12 victory. All seven of the Bison victories were decisions with perhaps the most exciting coming from freshman Paul Petrov, who posted a comeback victory at 133 pounds by outscoring his opponent 9-1 in the third period.
Other highlights for the Bison included 10th-ranked Corey Lear posting his team-high 19th win of the year at 165 and heavyweight Joe Stolfi notching his eighth consecutive victory to improve to 15-11 on the season.
The match began at 165 pounds and Lear's 6-0 shutout of Ty Knepp. Petrov's win at 133 was the final one of the afternoon for Bucknell, which improved to 6-9 on the season.
"It was a good team effort today," commented Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger. "It's nice to start a match off with your best guy to get some momentum. Especially our first seven guys competed for the full seven minutes and did a great job."
Petrov, who is 6-1 in his last seven bouts, trailed Zach Isenhour 5-1 entering the final period. The gap closed to 5-2 when Isenhour was whistled for a figure four penalty. A takedown and a pair of two-point near falls vaulted Petrov into the lead. Isenhour nearly escaped in between the two near falls, which would have tied the score at 6-6, but Petrov kept control. A takedown at the buzzer accounted for the final four-point margin of victory.
Sophomore 125-pounder Austin Miller also had a comeback win. He trailed Rich Lovorato 2-1 entering the third period. He took a 3-2 lead on a reversal, but Lovorato countered with his own reversal to retake a one-point lead in the final minute. Miller answered with an escape, a takedown and the riding time point for a 7-4 victory, his 14th of the season.
Stolfi's eighth straight win was a relatively uneventful one as he scored a third-period takedown to go up 4-1 and then earned the riding time point for a 5-1 victory. His last loss came nearly a month ago (Jan. 6) and his last loss to an unranked foe was more than two months ago (Dec. 1).
"Joe is really coming into his own," said Wirnsberger. "He is really improving in his wrestling, conditioning and strength. We're looking forward to seeing what he can do over the next few weeks against some tough EIWA opponents."
Robert Schlitt (174), Robert Marchese (184) and Tyler Lyster (197) also posted wins for Bucknell, which is now 18-9 in its last 27 duals in Davis Gym. Lyster's 8-2 victory matched Lear for the largest margin of victory by a Bison.
George Mason (3-13), which is 0-4 all-time against Bucknell, ended the match on a high note with three consecutive victories, including a pin at 149 by Greg Flournoy.
Bucknell will be back in action Friday, Feb. 8, when it hosts Penn College of Technology (5 p.m.) and Lock Haven (7 p.m.). Admission is free.
165: No. 10 Corey Lear (BKN) dec. Ty Knepp (GM), 6-0.
174: Robert Schlitt (BKN) dec. Ryan Hembury (GM), 6-4.
184: Robert Marchese (BKN) dec. Ryan Hembury (GM), 5-2.
197: Tyler Lyster (BKN) dec. Matt Meadows (GM), 8-2.
285: Joe Stolfi (BKN) dec. Jake Kettler (GM), 5-1.
125: Austin Miller (BKN) dec. Rich Lovorato (GM), 7-4.
133: Paul Petrov (BKN) dec. Zach Isenhour (GM), 10-6.
141: Sahid Kargbo (GM) dec. Derrik Russell (BKN), 11-4.
149: Greg Flournoy (GM) pinned Adam Healey (BKN), 1:33.
157: Jaaziah Bethea (GM) dec. Vincent Favia (BKN), 7-5.