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Spartans Close Out Dual Season at Central Michigan

Senior Anthony Jones Jr. has won three straight dual matches and is ranked No. 9 at 157 pounds.

Feb. 15, 2012

Michigan State (3-10, 1-7 Big Ten) at No. 25 Central Michigan (13-8, 4-1 MAC)
 Date | Time Thursday, Feb. 16 | 7:30 p.m.
 Location Mt. Pleasant, Mich. | McGuirk Field House
 Coverage Live statistics at
 Notes Michigan State | Central Michigan
 Statistics  Michigan State | Central Michigan
 Multimedia  Coach Minkel Podcast

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team travels to No. 25 Central Michigan for its last dual contest of the season on Thursday, Feb. 16. The Spartans will face a ranked opponent for the seventh consecutive dual match. Following the dual the Spartans will have two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.

"Our mission this week is that we need to continue to improve," head coach Tom Minkel said. "I really feel that we have improved every week this year. We have run into a lot of tough competition but regardless we have wrested a little better each week and we need to continue that."

Central Michigan enters the dual with a 13-8 overall record after dropping two matches in the NWCA National duals in Sunday, Feb. 12 in Ithaca, N.Y. The Chippewas fell to Purdue, 27-9, and to American, 25-16. Central Michigan started the season 12-2 but have won just one of their last seven dual matches.

"I have a lot of ties to Central," Minkel said. "I went to school there, I wrestled there, I coached there; both as an assistant coach and a head coach. Nevertheless this is about our wrestling dual meet. I'll enjoy seeing those people but us and this team. It's important that we wrestle well as we continue into the Big Ten's."

Last season Michigan State fell to then- No. 21 Central Michigan, 19-18, in a highly competitive dual match at Jenison Field House. The Spartans fell behind 19-6 after the 174-pound match, but claimed victories in the final three matches to nearly pull off the comeback win.

Next up the Spartans will prepare for competition in the Big ten Championships on March 3-4 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

Michigan State Probable Lineup vs. No. 25 Central Michigan
 125 Eric Olanowski (Sr., 8-8) OR Brenan Lyon (So., 12-11)
 133 Brandon Fifield (Fr., 12-15) OR Terry Turner (Fr., 9-6)
 141 Brian Gibbs (Fr., 16-16)
 149 Dan Osterman (Jr., 22-13)
 157 No. 10 Anthony Jones Jr. (Sr., 18-6)
 165 David Cheza (Sr., 14-7)
 174 No. 16 Curran Jacobs (Sr., 21-8)
 184 Ian Hinton (Sr., 18-9)
 197 Nick McDiarmid (R-Fr., 19-12)
 Hwt. Steve Andrus (Jr., 20-11) OR Michael McClure (So., 16-9)

Michigan State split the 10 matches with No. 20 Edinboro but fell 18-15 Friday, Feb. 10 at McComb Field House in its sixth straight match against a ranked foe. With the dual tied at 15, Edinboro's Ernest James recorded a takedown against Michael McClure at heavyweight with just 15 seconds remaining to secure the 3-1 win and the dual victory, 18-15.

For the second straight dual, the Spartans led 15-12 with only two matches remaining, but lost decisions in the 197-pound and heavyweight classes.

The Spartans competed in the Edinboro Open on the following day and 10 individuals placed in the tournament. Placing for Michigan State were Eric Olanowski (125 pounds) second, Brenan Lyon (125) fourth, Dan Osterman (149) sixth, Roger Wildmo (149) fifth, Ryan Watts (157) second, Nick Proctor (165) fourth, Ian Hinton (184) second, Nick McDiarmid (197) third, Steve Andrus (HWT) third and Michael McClure (HWT) fourth.

Purdue will host the 2012 Big Ten Championships at Mackey Arena, March 3-4. There are two sessions held each day and the action will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The NCAA released the second of three coaches' panel rankings and the first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2011-12 wrestling season last week. The final rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo. To be eligible for an RPI ranking, a wrestler must have a minimum of 17 Division I matches at a given weight class.

Seven Spartans were listed in the rankings:
Dan Osterman (149): No. 28 Coaches' Ranking/ No. 19 RPI
Anthony Jones Jr. (157): No.16 Coaches' Ranking/ No. 10 RPI
David Cheza (165): No. 27 Coaches' Ranking/ NR RPI
Curran Jacobs (174): No. 16 Coaches' Ranking/ No. 12 RPI
Ian Hinton (184): No. 30 Coaches' Ranking/ No. 33 RPI
Nick McDiarmid (197): No. 26 Coaches' Ranking/ NR RPI
Michael McClure (HWT): No. 31Coaches' Ranking/ NR RPI

Two Spartan seniors are currently ranked according to InterMat's latest rankings. No. 9 Anthony Jones Jr. (157) jumped one spot after beating Casey Fuller of Edinboro, 6-3, last weekend. Jones is one of four Big Ten wrestlers ranked inside the top 10 at 157 pounds.

No. 18 Curran Jacobs (174) dropped two spots from his No. 16 ranking a week ago after beating Chris Hrunka of Edinboro last weekend, 7-3. Jacobs has three wins over ranked wrestlers this season.

Tyler Dickenson (197) fell out of the rankings for the first time this season and will miss the remaining of the year after suffering a knee injury at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18.

The Spartans fell to No. 6 Ohio State, 24-13, on Senior Day at Jenison Field House. Michigan State wrestled hard and was in control of the dual with only two matches remaining. The Spartans won four matches in the dual and had the lead late with only two weight classes to go, but lost in the final matches. Seniors Anthony Jones Jr. (157) and Curran Jacobs (174) each recorded decisions for Michigan State.

"That was the best we've wrestled all year, it just got away from us at the end," said Michigan State head coach Tom Minkel following the dual. "I think we can build on this. Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country - that's a really good squad. I think our guys should come out of this with some confidence, knowing that if we wrestle like this, if we go hard every match, we can do some good things."

Last season the Spartans were without two key contributors in the middle of the lineup, as both No. 9 Anthony Jones Jr. (157) and David Cheza (165) lost the majority of last season due to injury. This season they are a combined 32-13 and have each placed in two tournaments this season, including an individual title for Cheza at the MSU Open. These seniors have been counted on to add consistency to the Spartan lineup.

Michigan State lost to No. 7 Nebraska and No. 11 Michigan on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, respectively. MSU hosted Nebraska and fell 27-8. Senior Eric Olanowski recorded a technical fall at 125 pounds and junior Dan Osterman had a decision at 149 pounds. The Spartans led 8-7 after four matches following Osterman's win in the 149-pound weight class, but Nebraska won the final six matches of the dual to claim the victory. Four of the 10 matches were decided by just one point.

The Spartans fell to in-state rival Michigan 27-8 at Cliff Keen Arena on Sunday, Jan. 29. Anthony Jones Jr. (157), Ian Hinton (184) and Nick McDiarmid (197) each recorded decisions at their respective weight classes. Michigan lead 9-6 over the Spartans heading into intermission. The Wolverines won four of the final five matches to claim the dual victory.

Head coach Tom Minkel boasts a lineup filled with experience and senior leadership in the 2011-12 season. Michigan State has six seniors, five of which are regular starters after Tyler Dickenson injured his knee in the Reno Tournament of Champions. The seniors include: Eric Olanowski (125), No. 9 Anthony Jones Jr. (157), David Cheza (165), No. 18 Curran Jacobs (174), Ian Hinton (184) and Tyler Dickenson (197). Currently the seniors are a combined 86-39 overall this season.

Michigan State senior 197-pounder Tyler Dickenson suffered a career-ending knee injury at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18. Dickenson was 7-1 on the season and ranked as high as No. 12 according to InterMat. Dickenson placed fourth in the Big Ten Championships a year ago and made his first trip to NCAA's last year. He defeated No. 12 A.J. Kissel of Purdue this season and owns a career record of 57-56.

Michigan State had a tough road weekend in which it faced No. 18 Northwestern on Jan. 20 and No. 6 Illinois on Jan. 22. The Spartans lost to Northwestern, 30-12, and fell to Illinois, 26-13.

Senior Curran Jacobs had an outstanding weekend, picking up two decisions over ranked wrestlers over the weekend. Jacobs defeated No. 11 Lee Munster of Northwestern, 3-1, and dropped No. 10 Jordan Blanton of Illinois, 7-3.

The Spartans lost to non-conference foe West Virginia on Jan. 13, 23-12, but defeated Indiana 21-20 on Jan. 15, in a thrilling match at Jenison Field House. The win over the Hoosiers was the first conference win for Michigan State.

The win over Indiana came in exciting fashion in front of the home crowd. Michigan State led 20-16 heading into the final match at 141 pounds between Andrew Ermatinger and Matt Ortega of Indiana. Although Ortega recorded an 11-2 major decision over Ermatinger, the Spartans were awarded a tiebreaker point based on total match victories. MSU won six matches throughout the dual and Indiana won four.

Spartans that contributed to the victory were Eric Olanowski (125), Terry Turner (133), No. 13 Anthony Jones Jr. (157), David Cheza (165), Curran Jacobs (174) and No. 10 Michael McClure (HWT).



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