Wrestlers Suffer 25-15 Loss to Wildcats
Feb. 10, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Within six points of catching the Wildcats, the Spartans (3-11-0, 0-6-0) suffered an unfortunate loss in the final dual Sunday afternoon, dropping an overall 25-15 decision to No. 11 Northwestern (6-7-0, 1-3-0), as NU earned its first Big Ten victory this year.
Sophomore star No. 5 Franklin Gomez continued to shine for Michigan State as the 133-pounder recorded his first pin of the season in the day's second-to-last dual; the dual brought the Spartans within six points of the Northwestern lead, just enough to tie and force a circumstantial overtime decision; unfortunately the 141 bout was lost. With his ninth-straight victory, Gomez extended his undefeated dual record to 14-0 and his overall mark to 22-1.
Northwestern struck first when No. 5 Ryan Lang pinned Michigan State's Tim Hammer in 1:16 for the opening 149 match.
At 157 pounds, John Fulger fought back from a 2-0 early disadvantage with an escape and takedown in the first period. While building valuable riding time, Fulger held Andrew Nadhir on the mat for three near fall points and rode Northwestern to the buzzer. Starting the second period down, Fulger extended his lead to 7-3 with an escape, and continued to control with a takedown at 1:17, for a 9-4 lead heading into the third period. Nadhir brought pressure in the final block with two takedowns, though Fulger countered the attacks with escapes to maintain a final 12-8 decision, including the final riding time point. The MSU points cut NU's lead to 6-3 after two bouts.
Rex Kendle brought the Spartans back into the match at 165 pounds, defeating Northwestern's Dominic Marella in a 3-1 decision. The pair struggled for position and despite late rushes by both, the first period remained scoreless. NU's Marella chose the start the second period down, and Kendle took advantage of the top position, holding the Wildcat down for two minutes worth of riding time. Kendle opted to start the final in neutral and attacked at 1:33 for a takedown, taking a 2-0 lead. Despite a penalty against MSU, Kendle's 3:35 riding time boosted him to a 3-1 victory, and tied the overall match at 6-6.
Next, the 174 pounders entered the circle, and Northwestern's No. 12 Nick Hayes scored first with a takedown at 2:20. MSU's John Murphy escaped 40 seconds later and ended the period. In the second, Hayes compiled two takedowns after escaping Murphy's initial hold, but Murphy escaped both to cut Northwestern's lead to 7-2. Murphy chose down for the final period and picked up an escape point seven seconds into the period, but Hayes would counter with two more takedowns and the riding time point to clinch the bout 14-1, and give the Wildcats a 10-6 lead.
Nick Palmieri clawed Michigan State back into the match with a 10-3 win at 184 pounds. Palmieri took Adil Kolovic down in the first 15 seconds and tacked on two near fall points before Kolovic could escape. But with 12 seconds left, Palmieri added seconds to his riding time advantage with another takedown, extending his lead to 6-1 after the first period. Despite choosing down looking for an NU escape point, Palmieri looked strong on top and held onto Kolovic for 86 seconds to extend his riding time to end the second period. Palmieri chose to start in the defensive down position for the third period and widened his lead to 9-2 with an escape and another takedown. Kolovic managed a last second escape to avoid a major decision loss, but Palmieri's 10-3 victory brought the Spartans to within one of NU's 10-9 lead.
At 197 pounds, MSU's No. 15 Joe Williams and NU's No. 2 Mike Tamillow faced off the fourth time this year; previously the two had battled through tournament play, where Tamillow won the three meetings. The Wildcat drew first blood this afternoon with a takedown at 2:04 in the first, tallying the periods only points. Tamillow began the second period down and escaped to lengthen his lead to 3-0, again recording the only points. Williams opened the third period calling for a neutral start but neither wrestler could manage a point as Tamillow claimed his fourth win over Williams with a 4-0 decision. The NU victory put the Wildcats ahead 13-9.
The nation's top heavyweight came out to challenge MSU's Alan O'Donnell, and Northwestern's Dustin Fox posted the first points at 285 pounds with a takedown 53 seconds into the first. Fox added two near fall points at 1:20 and two more at 0:16 to take a 6-0 lead. O'Donnell started the second period down, but only cleared off 10 seconds of NU riding time before Fox escaped. MSU earned an escape point after another NU takedown to end the second. The Wildcat led 9-1 as the third period opened. After a scoreless third, Fox tallied a 10-1 victory and gave Northwestern a 17-9 margin.
The Spartans' Joel Trombly faced off against Northwestern's No. 5 Brandon Precin at 125 pounds next, and Precin took a quick 5-0 lead with a takedown and three near fall points in the first period. Precin opted to start the second in the defensive down position, and while Trombly stayed on top for over a minute, Precin reversed the hold at 0:57 and extended his lead to 7-0. A scoreless third gave Northwestern the 8-0 major decision win and an overall 21-9 lead.
At 133 pounds, No. 3 Franklin Gomez wrestled the Spartans back into the match with a six-point pin in 6:50, and lessened NU's lead to an attainable 21-15. Gomez controlled the entire match, and while attempting to earn points with continual takedowns, Gomez took advantage a strong grip to put Northwestern's Robert Joyce on his back for a pin. The fall is Gomez' first of the season and third of his career.
With a tie in reach, Jeff Wimberley returned to the circle for the first time in three weeks, after being out with a knee injury. Northwestern's James Kohlberg took the initial lead in the 133-pound match with a takedown in the first and another in the second, after escaping Wimberley's hold to begin the middle period. Wimberley battled back with a reversal to put points on the board, but couldn't overcome Kohlberg's six near fall points in the final period. Northwestern claimed the match with a 15-2 major decision and the overall match 25-15, the Wildcats' first Big Ten victory of the season.
The Spartans hit the road for their next match, traveling to Penn State for a Big Ten Network televised dual at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15.
#11 Northwestern def. Michigan State, 25-15
Northwestern wins toss, chooses odd matches.
149: #5 Ryan Lang (NU) dec. Tim Hammer (MSU) Fall 1:16; NU leads 6-0
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