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    Bucknell improves to 4-0 in EIWA with win over Brown

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell's Shane Riccio (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) picked up his 100th career win with a first-period pin and John Regan (Plum Borough, Pa./Kiski School) also recorded a pin to help the Bison overcome the absence of three-time NCAA qualifiers Andy Rendos (Brockway, Pa./Brockway Area) and David Marble (Harpursville, N.Y./Harpursville Area) from the lineup and defeat Brown 28-13 Thursday evening at Davis Gym.

    The victory improved Bucknell's record to 7-5 this season and 4-0 against EIWA competition, its best conference start since posting a 5-0 record in the East Coast Conference in 1987-88.

    The Bison wrestled without the All-American Rendos, who is out with a knee injury, and Marble, who failed to make weight at 133 pounds. Despite the shortened lineup, Bucknell defeated Brown for a third consecutive year. The 15-point differential marked the largest Bison victory in the six-match series.

    The 174-pound Riccio became the fifth Bucknell wrestler in the history of the program to reach the 100 career win mark as he pinned Ziad Kharbush with one second remaining in the first period. The six points clinched the victory for the Bison as their lead ballooned to 25-13 with one bout remaining.

    Riccio, who is 25-7 this year and 100-45 in his four-year career, joined Bobby Ferraro (118 wins), Rendos (108), Tom Marchetti (106) and Marble (100) in the century club.

    Regan's pin also came in the first period, but was much quicker than Riccio's. It took Regan just 20 seconds to pin T.J. Popolizio at 141 pounds. The victory helped the Bison reclaim the lead midway through the match after falling behind 9-6. It was the fourth pin of the year for Regan, who now owns a three-match winning streak and is an impressive 17-9 on the year.

    Overall, Bucknell won seven of the nine bouts contested, losing only at 125 and 165. Jay Hahn (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) and Joe McMullan (Easton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) got things started with back-to-back convincing decisions at 197 and heavyweight, respectively, staking the Bison to an early 6-0 lead.

    Brown took its only lead of the match following a major decision victory at 125 and a forfeit win at 133.

    At 149 pounds, Kevin LeValley (Hugo, Colo./Limon), who is ranked seventh in the nation, won by major decision. A takedown with approximately 30 seconds remaining and one point for riding time gave LeValley the major decision over Philip Marano.

    Brantley Hooks (Spartanburg, S.C./James F. Byrnes) followed LeValley's win with a 9-2 decision at 157. He scored three takedowns and earned the riding-time point in the third period to extend a 2-0 lead to the final 9-2 margin.

    Rob Waltko (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) concluded the match with a 3-2 decision at 184. A takedown with 1:17 left staked him to a 3-1 lead and Bran Crudden managed only two third-period escapes.

    Prior to the match, four exhibition bouts were contested.

    Thursday's match marked the first of three in a four-day span for the Bison. They will wrestle at Liberty on Saturday at 3 p.m. and at Old Dominion Sunday at 2 p.m. Saturday's match will be on television in the Lynchburg, Va., area on the Flames Sports Network.

    Results:
    125: Greg Einfrank (Br) maj. dec, Derrik Russell (Bu), 8-0
    133: Nick Mazza (Br) wins by forfeit
    141: John Regan (Bu) vs. T.J. Popolizio (Br)
    149: No. 7 Kevin LeValley (Bu) maj. dec. Philip Marano (Br), 10-2
    157: Brantley Hooks (Bu) dec. Gabriel Brotzman (Br), 9-2
    165: Jeff Lemmer (Br) dec. Corey Lear (Bu), 9-6
    174: No. 17 Shane Riccio (Bu) pinned Ziad Kharbush (Br), 2:59
    184: Rob Waltko (Bu) dec. Bran Crudden (Br), 3-2
    *197: Jay Hahn (Bu) dec. Branden Stearns (Br), 6-1
    Hwt: Joe McMullan (Bu) dec. Larry Otsuka (Br), 7-3
    *Starting weight

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