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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A trio of wins in the upper weights -- two via bonus points -- were enough for No. 4 Ohio State to secure a 23-18 victory over No. 14 Rutgers on Monday night in the home finale at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes improve to 9-2 overall (5-2 in the Big Ten) while Rutgers in 11-4 (4-3 Big Ten).
THE STORT STORY
A decision from Myles Martin at 184 pounds followed by back-to-back bonus point wins from Kollin Moore and Kyle Snyder at 197 and heavyweight, respectively, opened up a 19-12 lead for Ohio State headed into the evening's final two matches. After forfeiting at 125 lbs., Nathan Tomasello sealed the win with a dominant 15-5 major decision at 133 lbs.
BUCKEYES, SCARLET KNIGHTS SPLIT FIRST FOUR
The dual started at 141 pounds with the first of two bouts of the night featuring a pair of ranked wrestlers. Rutgers' Anthony Ashnault, ranked No. 6 nationally, controlled Luke Pletcher (21-4) with a takedown and four-point nearfall in the opening period on his way to a 10-1 major decision.
Fifth-ranked Micah Jordan (22-2) responded with a 12-4 major decision of his own at 149 pounds against No. 14 Ken Theobold, clinching the bonus point with a takedown in the waning seconds of third period to push his lead to eight points after the riding time bonus point. For Jordan, it was his team-leading 22nd win of the year and fifth over a ranked opponent.
Redshirt freshman Josh Powell earned his first career start at 157 pounds and dropped a technical fall that gave Rutgers a 9-4 lead, but that advantage was short lived as Cody Burcher (15-9) gutted out a 7-5 decision at 165 pounds. Tied 3-3 in the second period, Burcher took Anthony Pafumi down, let him escape, and then worked a quick escape the start the third period for a 7-4 lead. Pafumi got out and was working hard for a tying takedown, but Burcher fended off each attempt for his 15th win of the year.
Justin Kresevic lost a 7-1 decision to Jordan Pagano that gave Rutgers a 12-7 lead at intermission.
BUCKEYES WIN THREE STRAIGHT, TAKE THE LEAD
Martin (21-5) got the second half of the dual started in a big way, scoring four critical back points in the third period to open up a close match against 13th-ranked Nicholas Gravina. The nearfall gave him an 8-1 lead and he eventually tacked on a riding time points for the 9-2 decision.
Moore scored early and often in the 197 bout, taking down Matt Correnti three times in the first and then once more in the second to build a 10-6 lead. Not satisfied with the decision, Moore worked for a takedown as time expired in the third and got it, extending his advantage to 16-8 after his and securing the major.
Snyder then put on a takedown clinic at 285 against Razohnn Gross, scoring eight first period points and 11 more in the second period before eventually finishing off the 24-9 technical fall early in the third period. Snyder (8-0) has won all of his matches this year by bonus points and ran his winning streak to 19 consecutive bouts.
TOMASELLO PUTS ONE IN THE WIN COLUMN
A forfeit at 125 pounds brought the team score to 19-18 in favor of Ohio State, meaning the fate of the dual rested at 133 pounds. Tomasello (13-0) got out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a takedown and two back points and cruised from there, scoring three more points in the period to jump out to a 7-3 lead. He would take down Scott DelVecchio three more times in the match in his 15-5 major decision.
In its nine dual wins this year, Ohio State has had four or more bonus point wins eight times.
This was just the fourth all-time meeting between the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights. Ohio State leads the series 4-0.
Moore and Jordan are now tied for the team lead with 22 wins.
The trio of Snyder, Tomasello and Moore improved their combined 2016-17 records to 42-2.
M. Jordan is 5-2 this year against ranked opponents.
Head coach Tom Ryan
On wrestling o Monday after a Friday dual
"It's never easy to respond after a big match on a Friday but I think our guys did a very good job of responding. We had some new guys in their though that had a chance to make their name as a Buckeye and we need to do a better job of getting those guys prepared."
On getting takedowns late in rounds
"Well you know what's good based on the crowd. They let you know that they appreciate when these guys work hard and they get that what they did was not easy. I think it teaches the athlete a little bit too and they clearly appreciated those tonight."
197 lbs. Kollin Moore
On his major decision victory
"It's just exciting to get a takedown that late, especially when it gets you a major at the end. Even though we maybe didn't need it, coach loves bonus points."
184 lbs. Myles Martin
On his tough schedule the past few matches
"I knew it was going to be tough bumping up to 184. I had some pretty tough guys from Iowa and Penn State. But those are the matches you learn from. I got a big win tonight so that felt good."
OHIO STATE WRESTLING
No. 4 Ohio State 23, No. 14 Rutgers 18 | St. John Arena | Columbus, Ohio
Records: Ohio State 9-2, 5-2; Rutgers 11-4, 4-3 | Attendance: 2,083
141: #6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) major decision over #15 Luke Pletcher (OSU) 10-1 | RU 4, OSU 0
149: #5 Micah Jordan (OSU) major decision over #14 Ken Theobold (RU) 12-4 | RU 4, OSU 4
157: #18 John Van Brill (RU) technical fall over Josh Powell (OSU) 17-0 | RU 9, OSU 4
165: Cody Burcher (OSU) decision over Anthony Pafumi (RU) 7-5 | RU 9, OSU 7
174: Jordan Pagano (RU) decision over Justin Kresevic (OSU) 7-1 | RU 12, OSU 7
184: #10 Myles Martin (OSU) decision over #13 Nicholas Gravina (RU) 9-2 | RU 12, OSU 10
197: #4 Kollin Moore (OSU) major decision over Matt Correnti (RU) 16-8 | OSU 14, RU 12
HWT: #1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) technical fall over Razohnn Gross (RU) 24-9 | OSU 19, RU 12
125: Brandon Paetzell (RU) won by forfeit | OSU 19, RU 18
133: #1 Nathan Tomasello (OSU) major decision over Scott DelVecchio (RU) 15-5 | OSU 23, RU 18
-- Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) February 7, 2017