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PSU’s 5-year Big Ten win streak snapped

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten), ranked No. 2 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, lost a hard-fought dual at No. 1 Iowa (9-0, 6-0) in sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday night.

Penn State led late in the dual, but Iowa came back to post the 19-17 victory in front of 14,905 fans.

The loss was the first in the Big Ten for Penn State since Feb. 8, 2015, an 18-12 loss to Iowa in State College. Including Friday’s dual, Penn State is in the midst of a run that four-of-five road duals in 16 days, including action at Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a home dual against Maryland on Sunday splitting the four road dates.

The dual began at 125 where freshman Brandon Meredith suffered a 16-1 technical fall to No.1 Spencer Lee at the 3:17 mark. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young, ranked No. 3 at 133, rolled out to a quick lead over No. 2 Austin DeSanto with two first period takedowns.

Bravo-Young locked up a cradle on the second but DeSanto called for an injury time on the move and was unable to continue. Leading 5-0, Bravo-Young received the injury default victory at the 1:50 mark to put Penn State up 6-4 as Iowa lost a team point after the bout as well.

Junior Nick Lee, ranked No. 3 at 141, rolled up seven takedowns on his way to a dominating 20-5 technical fall over Carter Happel. Lee’s tech fall, at the 5:53 mark, gave the Nittany Lions an 11-4 lead.

Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren battled No. 3 Pat Lugo at 149 and dropped a hard-fought 6-1 decision. Junior Bo Pipher battled No. 5 Kaleb Young at 157 and dropped a 6-1 decision. With two bonus point wins, Penn State led 11-10 at halftime.

Senior Vincenzo Joseph, ranked No. 1 at 165, picked up a big win to open the second half. The Lion senior added an escape in the third period and notched an impressive 7-5 win to put Penn State up 14-10.

Senior Mark Hall, ranked No. 1 at 174, then suffered his first loss of the year, an 11-6 upset to No. 2 Michael Kemerer. Kemerer’s win cut the Penn State lead to 14-13.

True freshman Aaron Brooks, ranked No. 9 at 184, extended Penn State’s lead. The freshman used two first period takedowns to open up a big lead and rolled to a 7-3 victory over No. 6 Abe Assad, giving the Lions a 17-13 lead.

Senior Shakur Rasheed, ranked No. 18 at 197, lost a hard-fought 4-2 decision to No. 7 Jacob Warner and Penn State’s lead was trimmed to one, 17-16.

True freshman Seth Nevills, ranked No. 15 at 285, stepped to the mat to take on No. 3 Tony Cassioppi in the dual’s final bout. Nevills nearly took an early lead in the first during a scramble, but Cassioppi countered and notched what would be the pivotal takedown on his way to a 7-0 win to give Iowa the 19-17 victory.

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