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    McMullan victory lifts Bucknell over Old Dominion

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Wrestling up two classes from his customary 184 pounds, sophomore Joe McMullan (Easton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) posted a decisive 11-7 victory in the final bout of the match as the Bucknell wrestling team overcame a 13-0 deficit and defeated Old Dominion, 20-16, Friday evening at Davis Gym. The Bison won six of the final seven bouts as they snapped a three-match losing streak to the Monarchs.

    Back-to-back overtime victories by Corey Lear (Orangeville, Pa./Benton Area) and David Thompson (West Liberty, Ohio/Graham Local) at 165 and 174 pounds also played key roles in securing the Bison victory.

    Thanks to a 12-4 major decision by Jay Hahn (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) at 197 pounds, Bucknell (4-8) took its first lead at 17-16 heading into the decisive heavyweight bout that would determine the winner of the match.

    McMullan, who was wrestling at heavyweight for the first time this year, fell behind early as Grant Chapman scored a takedown in the first 35 seconds of the bout. However, McMullan quickly escaped and immediately lifted Chapman in the air and dropped him for a takedown followed immediately by a two-point near fall. McMullan led 5-3 entering the second period when he scored an escape and another takedown, stretching his lead to 8-3. Chapman closed to within 8-6 in the final period, but a takedown by McMullan with just over 30 seconds to go clinched both the bout and the match.

    McMullan entered Friday’s dual with a 4-12 overall record this year, all at 184 pounds. He was 8-8 when competing at heavyweight as a freshman in 2009-10.

    Lear’s 2-1 overtime victory at 165 pounds was an impressive one. Both he and his opponent, Dan Rivera, registered escapes during regulation as they headed to overtime tied at 1-1. Neither wrestler got on the board during the one-minute sudden victory period. After Lear held Rivera scoreless in the first 30-second tiebreaker period, he was able to register the winning escape with 11 seconds left in the next 30-second frame. Rivera held on to Lear’s leg, but Lear was able to drag him around the mat and then finally break free for the win.

    Thompson followed with a marathon match of his own that went to a second set of tiebreaker periods as he and his opponent Tristan Warner wrestled for 11 full minutes. The bout went to overtime tied 2-2 and neither grappler was able to score during the first set of overtime frames. Finally, with 11 seconds left in the tiebreaker period, Thompson registered a reversal to go up 4-2. Warner was able to post an escape in the final tiebreaker, but it was not enough as Thompson won 4-3.

    Thompson’s victory evened the team score at 13-13. The Bison lost the first three bouts, including one by forfeit, but then Kevin LeValley (Hugo, Colo./Limon), Brantley Hooks (Spartanburg, S.C./James F. Byrnes), Lear and Thompson won in succession to tie the score.

    LeValley, who is ranked sixth nationally got things started for Bucknell with an 11-2 major decision at 149 pounds. It improved his season record to 20-1 and marked his 13th consecutive win in Davis Gym.

    Hooks made it two straight Bison wins with an easy 7-2 decision at 157 over Micah Blair. It was the 13th victory of the season for Hooks, who is now 79-64 in his career.

    When taking away Bucknell’s forfeit at 133 pounds, the Bison outscored Old Dominion (4-8-1) 20-10 in the nine bouts that were contested.

    Friday’s match was the first of two home duals this weekend for Bucknell, which will host Liberty Sunday at 4 p.m. The Flames lost to EIWA opponent Navy 34-6 Friday evening.

    Results:
    *125: No. 4 James Nicholson (ODU) maj. dec. Derek Reber (B), 14-5
    133: No. 12 Kyle Hutter (ODU) wins by forfeit
    141: Brennan Brumley (ODU) dec. Zac Hancock (B), 4-2
    149: No. 6 Kevin LeValley (B) maj. dec. Joey Metzler (ODU), 11-2
    157: Brantley Hooks (B) dec. Micha Blair (ODU), 7-2
    165: Corey Lear (B) dec. Dan Rivera (ODU), 2-1 (tb2)
    174: David Thompson (B) dec. Tristan Warner (ODU), 4-3 (2ndtb2)
    184: Joe Budi (ODU) dec. Rob Waltko (B), 2-0
    197: Jay Hahn (B) maj. dec. Jacob Henderson (ODU), 12-4
    Hwt.: Joe McMullan (B) dec. Grant Chapman (ODU), 11-7

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