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    Petrov, Smith record pins in Bucknell's win over Gardner-Webb

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Nationally ranked wrestlers Paul Petrov and Tyler Smith recorded wins by fall and Tyler Greene clinched the match with an overtime victory at 197 pounds as Bucknell ended a month-long stretch without a dual match with a 22-16 home victory over Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon at Davis Gym. The Bison improved to 2-1 on the season, while the Runnin' Bulldogs fell to 2-4.

    Bucknell won five of the 10 bouts, but capitalized by posting three bonus-point victories, including the pins by Petrov and Smith. Gardner-Webb had only one bonus-point victory, and that was a major decision at 165 pounds.

    "Today's match was tighter than we would have liked," commented Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger, who earned his 88th win at Bucknell. "They are well coached and I know how hard they compete and they outhustled us today, but it was good to get the win."

    Petrov, who is ranked 12th nationally at 125 pounds by Intermat, improved to 17-2 on the season with his team-leading fifth pin of the year. The pin of Cortez Starkes came in the closing seconds of the first period with Petrov leading 4-1.

    After a 10-5 loss at 133 pounds by backup Ben Bliss, 18th-ranked Smith took to the mat for the Bison. He came out of the gates with an immediate takedown and followed with a four-point near fall as he held an 8-1 advantage at the time of his pin just over 90 seconds into the bout against Ryan Hall. The pin was the fifth of the year for Smith as he tied Petrov for team-high honors.

    Victor Lopez (149) and Tom Sleigh (184) posted a pair of easy wins for Bucknell as they outscored their opponents by a combined 18-1 margin. Those victories were sandwiched around three straight wins for Gardner-Webb that cut its deficit from 16-3 to 16-13.

    The outcome of the match was still in doubt when Greene took the mat against Gray Jones with the Bison leading 19-13. Greene held a 3-2 lead in the third period, but a late takedown by Jones staked him to a one-point lead. Greene earned the riding time point to force overtime. Just 14 seconds into overtime, Greene took Jones down near the edge of the circle for his sixth win of the year.

    "It was nice to see Tyler respond the way he did after giving up the lead late in the third period," praised Wirnsberger.

    The final bout of the day also went to overtime, but Gardner-Webb's Boyce Cornwell scored a takedown of Chuck Boddy 30 seconds into overtime for a 3-1 decision.

    Saturday's win helped Bucknell improve to 11-2 in its last 13 matches in Davis Gym.

    The Bison will now be idle until the Virginia Duals Jan. 8-9 in Hampton, Virginia, although some wrestlers are likely to compete at the Lock Haven Invitational in late December.

    Results:
    125: #12 Paul Petrov (B) pin Cortez Starkes (GW), 2:55.
    133: Tyler Ziegler (GW) dec Ben Bliss (B), 10-5.
    141: #18 Tyler Smith (B) pin Ryan Hall (GW), 1:36.
    149: Victor Lopez (B) maj dec Chris Vassar (GW), 10-0.
    157: Kyle Ash (GW) dec Logan Kerin (B), 6-3.
    165: Austin Trott (GW) maj dec Robert Schlitt (B), 9-0.
    174: Brett Stein (GW) dec Connor Wagh (B), 8-4.
    184: Tom Sleigh (B) dec Hunter Gamble (GW), 8-1.
    197: Tyler Greene (B) dec Gray Jones (GW), 6-4 (sv1).
    285: Boyce Cornwell (GW) dec Chuck Boddy (B), 3-1 (sv1)

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