Nittany Lions claw Pitt; Wright pins Wilps

PITTSBURGH – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took care of No. 15 Pitt in front of sold out Fitzgerald Fieldhouse.

Coach Cael Sanderson’s Lions, ranked No. 1 in Intermat’s Tournament Power Index, won all but two bouts and rolled to the 31-7 win. Third-ranked Quentin Wright picked up the dual’s signature win with a pin of second-ranked Matt Wilps at 197.

Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 nationally at 125, received a forfeit to start the match for Penn State, with nearly 200 of his hometown fans in attendance.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Conaway continued his strong season, taking No. 16 Shelton Mack to sudden victory and grabbing the 5-3 win. Conaway has now beaten three wrestlers ranked in the top 16, including two top 10s.

With senior Bryan Pearsall getting the evening off, senior Derek Reber stepped into action for Penn State. Panther Travis Shaffer was able to defeat Reber 14-2, cutting Penn State’s lead to 9-4 with the major.

In a matchup of former District 6 wrestlers, sophomore Andrew Alton, ranked No. 7 at 149, posted a 14-7 win over Tyrone graduate Ronnie Garbinsky, tallying five takedowns in the win.

Brother Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, notched a 7-3 win over Panther Donnie Tasser, putting Penn State up 15-4 at the midway point.

Junior All-American David Taylor, ranked no. 2 at 165, then rolled through No. 17 Tyler Wilps to the tune of a 20-6 major decision with 3:36 in riding time.

Nittany Lion Matt Brown, ranked No. 5 at 174, was strong once again in a 10-4 win over Panther P.J. Tasser to put Penn State up 22-4.

Junior All-American Ed Ruth, ranked No. 1 at 184, stayed unbeaten on the year with a 17-3 dismantling of No. 13 Max Thomusseit. The major gave Penn State a 26-4 lead.

Wright then thrilled a crowd of Penn State faithful in the Panthers’ house by pinning Wilps. A quick scramble at the end of the first period allowed Wright to gain control of the Panther and stay unbeaten on the year with the pin at the 2:43 mark.

Sophomore Jimmy Lawson battled No. 8 Zac Thomusseit tough at heavyweight before dropping a tough 5-4 decision. The Lions then lost a team point for thrown head gear as the Lion left the mat frustrated.

In winning eight of ten bouts, Penn State posted a lopsided 27-4 takedown advantage. Taylor led the way with six while Ruth and Andrew Alton each had five.

Penn State improved to 10-1 on the year, while Pitt fell to 8-5.

125-Megaludis, PSU, won by forfeit; 133-Conaway, PSU, dec. Mack, 5-3 OT; 141- Shaffer, PITT, maj. dec. Reber, 14-2; 149-A. Alton, PSU, dec. Garbinsky, 14-7; 157-D. Alton, PSU, dec. D. Tasser, 7-3.

165-Taylor, PSU, maj. dec. T. Wilps, 20-6; 174-Brown, PSU, dec. P.J. Tasser, 10-4; 184-Ruth, PSU, maj. dec. M. Thomusseit, 17-3; 197-Wright, PSU, pinned M. Wilps, 2:43; 285-Z. Thomusseit, PITT, dec. Lawson, 5-4*

*Lions lose team point for unsportsmanlike conduct (thrown head gear) after 285

Records: Penn State (10-1); Pittsburgh (8-5)

Attendance: 3,294