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PSU pummels Illinois for share of Big Ten regular season crown

PSU clinched a share of the Big Ten dual title

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- No. 1 Penn State (13-0, 9-0 B1G) pummeled No. 19 Illinois (2-9, 1-8 B1G) in the Big Ten dual meet finale for head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions. Penn State won eight of ten bouts to post a 39-9 win over the homestanding Illini, helping secure Penn State at least a share of its sixth Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) title. Penn State has won or shared four straight Big Ten Regular Season crowns.

The dual began at 125 where sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) was pinned by No. 12 Travis Piotrowski at the 1:03 mark to give Illinois an early 6-0 lead. Senior Scott Stossel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) stepped in at 133 for true freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 11 at 133, who returned to Tucson for a funeral. Stossel used takedowns in the second and third periods and added 1:40 in riding time to post a 6-4 win over Joshua Contreras, picking up his first dual victory as a Nittany Lion.

Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, put on an offensive clinic in downing Illinois' Abdullah Assaf. Lee had four takedowns and three turns, including a four-pointer in the second period to post the 17-2 technical fall at the 3:48 mark. Lee's win put Penn State up 8-6 after three bouts. Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 11 at 149, returned to the line-up and was impressive in a 15-4 major over Illinois' Christian Kanzler. Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, then dominated No. 10 Eric Barone. Nolf built up a 12-1 lead before Barone, after a second injury timeout, was unable to continue, giving Nolf the injury default victory at the 5:25 mark. Nolf's win put Penn State up 18-6 at the midway point.

Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, rolled through Nick Gasbarro to keep Penn State charging. Joseph notched six takedowns and amassed 4:37 in riding time to post the 15-4 major and put Penn State up 22-6. Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, made short work of Illinois' Carver James. Hall turned a first period takedown into one two point turn before resetting and pinning James at the 2:20 mark in the first period.

Redshirt freshman Mason Manville (Lorton, Va.) once again moved up from 165 to 184 for No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) and battled No. 7 Emery Parker tough for seven minutes before dropping a close 7-3 decision. Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, racked up six takedowns and two near falls on his way to a 19-3 tech fall over Matt Wroblewski, getting the tech at the 6:49 mark to put Penn State up 33-9. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, finished off Penn State's dominating performance by pinning Deuce Rachal at the 2:06 mark, locking the Illini up and tossing him to his back in seconds for the fall. Cassar's pin made the final 39-9 for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State dominated the dual from start to finish, posting a 28-5 takedown advantage. The Lions tallied 15 bonus points off two pins (Hall, Cassar), an injury default (Nolf), two tech falls (Lee, Nickal) and two majors (Berge, Joseph). Hall picked up his 29th career pin. Nickal now has 111 career wins while Nolf has 108. Penn State has won or shared four straight Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) titles and six overall, all since Sanderson's arrival at Penn State.

The Nittany Lions have now won 58-straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Sanderson's Lions won their last dual of that campaign, went 16-0 in 2015-16, went 14-0 in 2016-17 and went 14-0 in 2017-18. Penn State is now 13-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten and finish the Big Ten season with a 9-0 mark for the fourth straight year. Illinois falls to 2-9, 1-8 B1G. Penn State closes out the dual meet season in the friendly confines of Rec Hall, hosting Buffalo on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. for Senior Day.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.

Results:
125: #12 Travis Piotrowski ILL pinned Devin Schnupp PSU, WBF (1:03) 0-6
133: Scott Stossel PSU dec. Joshua Contreras ILL, 6-4 3-6
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU tech fall Abdullah Assaf ILL, 17-2 (TF; 3:48) 8-6
149: #11 Brady Berge PSU maj. dec. Christian Kanzler ILL, 15-4 12-6
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU inj. def. #10 Eric Barone ILL, Inj.Def. (5:25; Nolf up 12-1) 18-6
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU maj. dec. Nick Gasbarro ILL, 15-4 22-6
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned Carver James ILL, WBF (2:20) 28-6
184: #7 Emery Parker ILL dec. Mason Manville PSU, 7-3 28-9
197: #1 Bo Nickal PSU tech fall Matt Wroblewski ILL, 19-3 (TF; 6:49) 33-9
285: #3 Anthony Cassar PSU pinned Deuce Rachal ILL, WBF (2:06) 39-9
Records: Penn State (13-0, 9-0 B1G), Illinois (2-9, 1-8 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: home vs. Buffalo, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m., Rec Hall.

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125: Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) met No. 12 Travis Piotrowski. Piotrowski scored quickly, turning a high single into a takedown and a 2-0 lead seconds into the bout. Schnupp tried to work his way to his feet but Piotrowski wrapped up a cradle and turned the Lion to his back, picking up the pin at the 1:03 mark.

133: Senior Scott Stossel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) stepped in at 133 for No. 11 Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), who returned to Tucson for a funeral. Stossel took on Joshua Contreras. The duo battled through a scoreless opening minute in the middle of the mat. Stossel looked to control the center circle, setting up his offense. Contreras was able to counter a low Stossel single and take a 2-0 lead with just seconds left in the period and led after the opening period. Contreras chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 3-0 lead at the 1:45 mark. Contreras then worked his way in on a high single and Stossel was able to force a reset with 1:20 left in the middle stanza. Contreras took a shot and this time Stossel countered for a takedown to cut the lead to 3-2 with :55 on the clock. Stossel then maintained control of the Illini grappler for the rest of the period and trailed 3-2 with :49 in riding time. Stossel chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to tie the bout 3-3. He then countered another Contreras shot for takedown and led 5-3 with 1:10 left to wrestle. He worked his riding time up over 1:00 and continued to control action from the top position. With the riding time point assured, Contreras escaped to a 5-4 score with :20 left. Stossel fought off a late Illini shot and, with 1:40 in time, posted the 6-4 win.

141: Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, faced off against Illinois' Abdullah Assaf. Lee scored quickly, taking Assaf down on the edge of the mat seconds into the bout. He then cut Assaf loose :30 later and went back to work in neutral. Lee picked up his second takedown with 1:50 to wrestle, taking a 4-1 lead. He worked Assaf over to his back and upped his lead to 6-1 with two near fall points at the 1:20 mark. Lee added two more back points and finished on top to lead 8-1 with 2:21 in riding time after one period. Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 9-1 lead. He quickly zipped through a low single for another takedown, then cut Assaf loose, then grabbed him by his shoulders

149: Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 11 at 149, took on Christian Kanzler. Berge came out quickly, gaining control of Kanzler's left ankle and picking up the takedown at the 2:26 mark to open up a 2-0 lead. Berge worked up :41 in riding time before Kanzler escaped to a 2-1 score with 1:20 on the clock. Berge once again grabbed Kanzler's left ankle but Kanzler was able to force a stalemate at the :25 mark, forcing a reset. Berge continued to shoot, forcing Kanzler into defense, and then the Lion dove through a low double for a takedown with just :01 left to lead 4-1 after one period. Trailing 4-1, Kanzler chose down to start the second period and Berge went to work on top. The Lion worked a bow and arrow and turned Kanzler to his back for four back points and an 8-1 lead with 1:10 on the clock. Berge forced Kanzler into a stall warning before the Illini escaped with :28 left in the period. Berge chose down to start the third period and picked up another point on a stall before escaping to a 10-2 lead. He then quickly turned in on Kanzler and took him down to lead 12-3 with :50 left in the bout. Berge took Kanzler down again with :38 on the clock and, with 1:17 in riding time, rolled to the 15-4 major.

157: Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, met No. 10 Eric Barone. Nolf picked up Barone's left ankle and spent the next :45 working the Illini to the mat for a takedown. Nolf whipped Barone's ankle downward, picked up the takedown at the 1:43 mark and led 2-1 with 1:08 left in the opening period. Nolf continued to pressure Barone and his work paid off with a second takedown with just seconds left to lead 4-1 after the opening stanza. Nolf chose down to start the second period and steadily worked his way to an escape and a 5-1 lead. Nolf worked Barone to his back on the edge of the mat, took the Illini down and to his back for two near fall points before Barone took an injury timeout. Nolf led 9-1 after the flurry. Nolf chose down on the reset and escaped with :15 on the clock. He added a last second takedown and led 12-1 after two. Barone chose down to start the third period and Nolf went to work on top. Barone took injury time again and could not continue, giving Nolf the injury default victory at the 5:25 mark, with Nolf leading 12-1 at the time. Joseph built up over 2:00 in riding time while trying to turn the Illini for back points. The Lion junior

165: Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, took on Nick Gasbarro. Joseph set the pace early, working the middle of the mat until using a solid single leg to notch a takedown with 2:15 on the clock, opening up a 2-0 lead. He cut Gasbarro loose and went back to work in neutral, picking up a second takedown with 1:12 left in the period. Joseph added a third takedown and led 6-2 after the opening period. Gasbarro chose down to start the second period and Joseph cut him loose to a 6-3 score. After fighting off a Gasbarro shot, Joseph worked a high single into a fourth takedown with 1:15 on the clock and upped his lead to 8-3. Joseph forced Gasbarro into one stall warning with rideout and led 8-3 with 2:54 in riding time after two periods. Joseph chose down to start the third period and quickly rolled through a reversal to a 10-3 lead with 1:45 on the clock. He picked up another point on a Gasbarro stall and led 11-4 after cutting Gasbarro loose. He added another takedown, picked up another stall point and, with 4:37 in riding time, posted the dominating 15-4 major decision.

174: Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, met Carver James. Hall drew first blood quickly, taking James down on the edge of the mat. He then built up a good riding time edge while turning the Illini to his back for two near fall points and a 4-0 lead just over a minute into the bout. Hall continued to work on top, looking to turn the Illini. He worked James over, rolling through control and turning James to his back and getting the first period pin at the 2:20 mark.

184: Redshirt freshman Mason Manville (Lorton, Va.) moved up from 165 for No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) and battled No. 7 Emery Parker. Manville was the aggressor early, forcing Parker towards the outside circle while looking to connect on offense. The Lion freshman pressed the Illinois senior for over two minutes and then fought off Parker's attempts at shoulder control as the period wound down. Scoreless after the opening stanza, Parker chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. He then used a quick shot to notch the first takedown of the bout and took a 3-0 lead on Manville. Manville worked his way to an escape and a 3-1 score with 1:30 in the clock. Parker countered a Manville effort and took a 5-2 lead with :55 left in the period. Manville was unable to break through Parker's defense and trailed 5-2 after two. The Lion freshman chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 5-3 score. He quickly went to work on offense and spent the next two minutes forcing the ranked Illini into defense. Parker was able to counter a late Manville shot and posted the 7-3 win.

197: Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, battled Matt Wroblewski. Nickal took an early 2-1 lead with a takedown and cut and then went back to work in the middle of the mat. The Lion senior stepped back from a slight Illini shot and slid around Wroblewski for a second takedown and a 4-1 lead with 1:31 on the clock. Nickal built up over 1:00 in riding time, controlling action from the top position before turning Wroblewski to his back for two near fall points at the :20 mark to lead 6-1 after the opening stanza. Wroblewski chose neutral to start the second period. Nickal immediately went to work on offense and drove the Illini to the mat for another takedown and an 8-1 lead. After a reset with 1:10 on the clock, Nickal cut Wroblewski loose to an 8-2 score. Nickal continued to work on offense while the Illini backed away. The Lion ducked under Wroblewski late for another takedown and led 10-2 with 2:52 in time after two. Nickal chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to an 11-2 lead. He picked up another takedown and led 13-3 with 1:20 on the clock. Wroblewski took his first shot of the match, Nickal countered, locked up the cradle and appeared to have the Illini pinned. No fall was given but the four near fall points gave Nickal the 19-3 tech fall at the 6:49 mark.

285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, took on Deuce Rachal. The duo battled evenly for the opening two minutes before the Lion locked Rachal up at the shoulders, drove him to the mat and picked up the first period fall at the 2:06 mark.

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