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Pitt downs Bucknell

PITTSBURGH -- The 24th-ranked Pitt wrestling team improved to 4-0 on the year after another dominating performance at the Fitzgerald Field House Sunday afternoon. The Panthers downed the Bucknell Bison, 34-4.

Pitt allowed just one win by the opponent for the third time this season, todays coming at 125 pounds. The Panthers also allowed one win by West Virginia Dec. 15 and one by CSU Bakersfield Nov. 10.

Four Pitt wrestlers contributed bonus points in the win, including senior Robert Lee, redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi, redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi and senior Demetrius Thomas. Lee pinned Matt Kolonia in 2:45 at 149 pounds, giving the Panthers a necessary boost early on.

"We're wrestling well right now," said head coach Keith Gavin. "It was a good weekend for us with West Virginia last night and Bucknell today. We lost to both of those teams last year, so it's fun to see the progress."

Bucknell got on the board first after freshman Brendon Fenton dropped a 9-1 major decision to Jakob Campbell, giving the Bison a 4-0 lead.

Redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi put on a clinic at 133 pounds, recording a 21-9 major decision over David Campbell. The sixth-ranked Panther scored nine takedowns to tie the team race 4-4. Phillippi is now 8-1 on the year.

Senior LJ Bentley used extra time to secure his win over Joey Gould at 141 pounds. Bentley and Gould went back-and-forth exchanging takedowns and escapes. Bentley held a 7-5 lead with one minute to go, but Gould would score a takedown to force overtime. The senior then quickly scored a takedown of his own for the win.

Lee bounced back after falling to his West Virginia opponent on Sunday by pinning Matt Kolonia in 2:45. The fall boosted the Panthers' lead to 13-4 through four bouts.

Redshirt junior Taleb Rahmani improved to 8-2 on the year after defeating Zach Hartman in sudden victory. Rahmani led 5-3 entering the third period, but a Hartman reversal and penalty point would give him a 6-5 lead with 30 seconds to go. Rahmani then scored a reversal of his own to take the lead 7-6, but a Hartman escape would tie it to force overtime. The 10th-ranked 157-pounder then scored a takedown and collected four back points to win it 13-7 in sudden victory.

Moving 165 pounds, redshirt sophomore Jake Wentzel picked up his second win of the weekend after a 6-0 shutout over DJ Hollingshead. Wentzel used two takedowns, an escape and riding time to move the team score to 19-4 in favor of Pitt.

Redshirt sophomore Gregg Harvey picked up another solid win this afternoon as he defeated Nick Stephani in a 7-3 decision.

Bonaccorsi recorded his second consecutive win by technical fall today, this time over Kyle Inlander 23-8 in 5:47. The 12th-ranked 184-pounder won by technical fall Saturday night over Jackson Moomau of WVU, 16-1, in 3:31. Bonaccorsi worked his offense, scoring nine takedowns and a reversal in the win.

At 197 pounds, redshirt junior Kellan Stout won in a 6-2 decision over Drew Phipps for his fifth win of the year. After a scoreless first period, Stout began the second in the top position and remained there until the final seconds with Phipps scored a reversal to get on the board. However, a burst in the third by Stout would pay off as he escaped, scored a takedown and picked up two back points to build a solid lead. He added his final point with riding time to give the Panthers a 30-4 advantage entering the final bout.

Thomas was the final Panther to contribute bonus points as he won in a 19-6 major decision over Joe Scott at heavyweight. The 13th-ranked heavyweight scored eight takedowns in the win to improve to 16-2 on the year and secure the Pitt team win.

The Panthers will hit the road for their next four duals, first taking on Clarion Friday, Dec. 21 before traveling to Oklahoma (Jan. 6), North Dakota State (Jan. 12) and South Dakota State (Jan. 13).

Results:
125: Jakob Campbell (BU) maj. dec. Brendon Fenton (UP), 9-1 - Bucknell leads 4-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (UP) maj. dec. David Campbell (BU), 21-9 - Tied 4-4
141: LJ Bentley (UP) def. Joey Gould (BU), SV-1, 9-7 - Pitt leads 7-4
149: Robert Lee (UP) pins Matt Kolonia (BU), 2:44 - Pitt leads 13-4
157: #10 Taleb Rahmani (UP) def. Zach Hartman (BU), SV-1, 13-7 - Pitt leads 16-4
165: Jake Wentzel (UP) dec. DJ Hollingshead (BU), 6-0 - Pitt leads 19-4
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Nick Stephani (BU), 7-3 - Pitt leads 22-4
184: #12 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) tech. fall Kyle Inlander (BU), 23-8, 5:47 - Pitt leads 27-4
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Drew Phipps (BU), 6-2 - Pitt leads 30-4
285: #13 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. Joe Scott (BU), 19-6 - Pitt wins 34-4

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