No. 13 MSU to Host Big Ten Foe No. 3 Minnesota
Sat., Feb. 15 MINNESOTA 7:00 p.m., Jenison Field House
Fri., Feb. 21 at Indiana 7:00 p.m., Bloomington, IN
The 13th-ranked Michigan State University wrestling team will host conference foe Minnesota on Feb. 15 at Jenison Field House. The Golden Gophers come into the contest ranked third nationally, with a 12-3 dual meet record. They defeated MSU 28-9 at the National Dual Championships earlier in the season.
Michigan State had another busy week of competition last week, hosting non-conference opponents Oklahoma and Nebraska before traveling to Eastern Michigan.
On Saturday, the Spartans entertained No. 15 Oklahoma at the Breslin Center, coming away on the short end of a 21-18 score. Oklahoma captured six of the first seven weight classes to start the dual, and Coach Minkel's team never recovered. The first victory for MSU came at 142 pounds, with freshman Sam Hakim (Randolph, NJ) pinning Steve Coleman in 2:16. State was then shut out until No. 3 Erich Harvey (Sr., Allegan) pinned Waymon May at 4:51 of their 177-pound match. The victory ignited a small run for the Spartans, as they captured the last three weight classes. In one of the best matches of the year, senior 190-pounder Brian Picklo, ranked fourth, defeated No. 1-ranked and defending National Champion John Kading 2-1 in a double-overtime tiebreaker. At heavyweight, Marco Sanchez (Jr., Brooklyn, NY) closed the dual with a 4-2 decision over Trey Swan.
Action moved back to Jenison Field House on Sunday, with the Spartans hosting No. 10 Nebraska. The venue was different, but the results were the same. Michigan State could get only three wins against the Huskers, and were defeated 29-13. No. 3 David Morgan got the first MSU points with an 8-0 major decision over Todd Beckerman at 118 pounds. Nebraska then rattled off six straight wins, with the next Spartan win coming at 177, where Harvey pinned Charles McTorry in 4:11. Freshman Nick Muzashvili followed with a 17-11 decision over Scott Munson at 190 to close out the scoring for State. Michigan State then got on the bus and traveled to Ypsilanti for its third dual meet of the weekend, against Eastern Michigan. The Spartans managed to turn things around there, routing the Eagles 35-9.
Morgan started things off with a 14-2 major decision of Lee Pritts. After losing at 126, MSU captured the next seven matches. Winning for MSU were: Issac Miller (So., Flint) at 134; Hakim at 142; Adam Elderkin (Fr., Sand Lake) at 150; Greg DeGrand (So., Saline) at 158; Will Hill (Fr., Indianapolis) at 167; Harvey at 177; and Nick Muzashvili (Fr., Unadilla, NY) at 190. The victory ended a six-match losing streak for MSU, whose overall record now stands at 7-11.
With three pins this weekend, Harvey now has 13 on the season, and 36 for his career, good for fifth on the MSU career list... Muzashvili's two wins at 190 last weekend were his first dual meet victories of the season.
QUOTING COACH MINKEL:
"Overall I was a little disappointed with this weekend. We wrestled well against Eastern Michigan, but I thought we would be able to get a win in one of the duals against Oklahoma or Nebraska. There were some bright spots though, particularly Brian Picklo. For him to beat the defending National Champion is a very significant accomplishment."
On Minnesota: "Minnesota is ranked No. 3, and they are a real, real, solid team. We're looking forward to them coming here."
MSU ON TV:
Selected Michigan State dual meets will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by PASS Sports this season. The next televised dual will be the Oklahoma dual, at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The latest Amateur Wrestling News rankings are available on the Internet at http://www.intermatwrestle.com. Michigan State is No. 13 in the current (Feb. 5) team poll, while on the individual side Morgan is No. 3 at 118, Harvey No.3 at 177, and Picklo No. 4 at 190. In the Wrestling Institute Newsmagazine rankings, Morgan is No. 2, Harvey No. 4, and Picklo No. 5.
Summaries of the upcoming Spartan dual Minnesota may be obtained via Fax-On- Demand by calling (770) 399-3066. The passcode is 282, and the document number is 2066.