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COLUMBUS, Ohio - A record-breaking crowd of 15,338 at Value City Arena saw Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder cruise to his 18th consecutive victory in the 10th and final bout of Friday's nights dual with No. 2 Penn State. Overall, the Buckeyes dropped seven of 10 matches against the Nittany Lions in a 32-12 loss.
THE SHORT STORY
Ohio State wins came at 133, 197 and 285 lbs. as Nathan Tomasello, Kollin Moore and Snyder improved their combined 2016-17 records to 40-2. Tomasello earned a 22-7 technical fall over George Carpenter and Moore came from behind with a three third-period points to defeat ninth-ranked Matt McCutcheon. Snyder, meanwhile, scored nine takedowns in a 19-9 major decision over third-ranked Nick Nevills.
THE ATTENDENCE GAME
The 15,338 fans that packed Value City Arena more than doubled the previous single-match attendance record set of Jan. 4, 2015 against Iowa (6,558).
TOMASELLO GETS THE CROWD GOING
After second-ranked Nick Suriano won 19-4 over Jose Rodriguez at 125, Tomasello put on a takedown clinic in the 133 bout. He scored five takedowns in the opening three minutes and added two more two-point nearfalls to build a 14-4 advantage. Tomasello didn't slow down in the second period, four more points and then finally four again in the third period to finish off the technical fall and tie the dual at 5-5.
PLETCHER DROPS A CLOSE ONE
One of the tightest matches of the night occurred at 141 pounds, as a pair of Latrobe, Pa. natives battled until the final third-period buzzer. Luke Pletcher, ranked No. 15 nationally with 21 wins already to his credit, took down 11th-ranked Jimmy Gulibon in the first period to a quick 2-0 lead, but Gulibon countered with an escape and second-period takedown to tie the score at 3-3. He then escaped to start the third period and locked up riding time for a 5-3 decision.
PSU GETS BONUS POINTS AT 149, 157, 165, 174
Penn State would build an insurmountable advantage with bonus points in the next four bouts, highlighted by pins from Jason Nolf (1:36) and Mark Hall (5:21). In a battle of top-five ranked wrestlers, No. 1 Zain Retherford turned a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period into a 20-5 technical fall over No. 5 Micah Jordan. At 184 pounds, Bo Nickal, ranked No. 2, avenged his NCAA finals loss to Myles Martin with an 8-2 decision.
BUCKEYES WIN THE FINAL TWO
Moore continued his impressive redshirt freshman season with a 9-6 win at 197 that was highlighted by a flurry of third period scoring. Tied at 6-6, Moore chose down and quickly escaped, and then scored the clinching takedown with under a minute to give himself a third-point advantage.
Snyder then gave the nearly 16,000 fans what they came to see - a typically dominate performance in which he took down Nevills, ranked No. 3, four times in the first period twice in the second and three more times in the third. All seven of Snyder's win this year have come via bonus points (two major decisions, one technical fall, four pins).
Ohio State closes out the home schedule with a dual against No. 14 Rutgers on Monday at St. John Arena. The match starts at 7 p.m. and can be seen live on BTN.
OHIO STATE WRESTLING
No. 2 Penn State 32, No. 4 Ohio State 12 | Value City Arena | Columbus, Ohio
Records: Penn State 11-0, 7-0; Ohio State 8-2, 4-2 | Attendance: 15,338
125: #2 Nick Suriano (PSU) technical fall over #18 Jose Rodriguez (OSU) 19-4 | PSU 5, OSU 0
133: #1 Nathan Tomasello (OSU) technical fall over George Carpenter (PSU) 22-7 | OSU 5, PSU 5
141: #11 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) decision over #15 Luke Pletcher (OSU) 5-3 | PSU 8, OSU 5
149: #1 Zain Retherford (PSU) technical fall over #5 Micah Jordan (OSU) 20-5 | PSU 13, OSU 5
157: #1 Jason Nolf (PSU) fall over Anthony DeCarlo (OSU) 1:36 | PSU 19, OSU 5
165: #4 Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) major decision over Cody Burcher (OSU) | PSU 23, OSU 5
174: #7 Mark Hall (PSU) fall over Justin Kresevic (OSU) 5:21 | PSU 29, OSU 5
184: #2 Bo Nickal (PSU) decision over #10 Myles Martin (OSU) 8-2 | PSU 32, OSU 5
197: #4 Kollin Moore (OSU) decision over #9 Matt McCutcheon (PSU) 9-6 | PSU 32, OSU 8
HWT: #1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) major decision over #3 Nick Nevills (PSU) 19-9 | PSU 32, OSU 12
Head coach Tom Ryan
On his takeaway from the meet
"I have mixed emotions. We had 10 matches out there with some guys who came ready to compete and fight hard who did well and the guys who didn't struggled. That's a team with a lot of tough people and a great tradition. They compete extremely hard, so when you make mistakes in a seven-minute match you are going to struggle."
On the record-setting attendance
"A huge thanks to the fan base. We knew 10 years ago, when my staff took over the program, that the people in this state are gritty and they're tough people and love the sport of wrestling. This is one of the elite states in the county. We saw it as a sleeping giant."
On the lessons his wrestlers learned from this dual
"I think you definitely learn when you're in situations that you haven't experienced as much. This is a different type of team than Iowa was. Iowa was a pushing, pulling, bullying team. These guys really wrestle, they attack your legs and keep coming at you. The best way to learn something is to insert yourself into that situation like tonight."
Junior Kyle Snyder
On the effects of traveling to Russia for the Ivan Yargin Grand Prix
"I felt it more in practice than I did in the competition tonight. My legs got more tired during this week of practice, and I didn't even do that much. My mind switches over fast, but I feel like sometimes it takes my body a little bit longer. My sleeping schedule was different this week. I woke up at two a.m. a couple times and had to force myself back to sleep. I adjust pretty fast though, people who are in good shape can usually make the time change pretty quickly."
On whether the crowd is on his mind while he wrestles
"I wrestle for myself pretty much. I am happy that people come and watch me compete, and I hope that they have fun. In the end I wrestle and I compete hard because I love wrestling and I like to score points. I want Buckeye Nation to know how hard I work, and I want to paint them an image of the suffering I put myself through and coaches put me through so I can score a lot of points."