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See-saw battle sees No. 1 Penn State top No. 5 Oklahoma State, 23-12

Cradle me: Penn State's Ed Ruth cradles Oklahoma State's Nolan Boyd on the way to pinning the Cowboy in a Feb. 16 dual meet
Cradle me: Penn State's Ed Ruth cradles Oklahoma State's Nolan Boyd on the way to pinning the Cowboy in a Feb. 16 dual meet
Craig Houtz, Penn State wrestling website

In a dual meet that saw the team lead go back and forth in the first seven matches, defending NCAA wrestling champs Penn State defeated fifth-ranked Oklahoma State, 23-12, in front of 6,571 fans at a packed Rec Hall in University Park, Pa. Sunday.

The two programs pretty much traded wins from the 125-pound match up through 174, with the Cowboys winning four of the first seven bouts, giving them a 12-9 lead over the Nittany Lions. However. Ed Ruth started the momentum going in favor of the home team, applying his patented cradle to pin Nolan Boyd in their 184-pound match, putting Penn State in the lead, 15-12. Fellow Nittany Lion big men Morgan McIntosh and Jon Gingrich scored major-decision victories over their Oklahoma State opponents to put the visitors away.

“That was huge,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said of Ruth’s fall, his ninth of the season. “That was in a way kind of sealing the dual because we were confident in (Morgan) McIntosh and confident in (Jon) Gingrich also but to get those bonus points, we were down by three points going into Ed’s match. That was a big deal.”

A match that drew comments from both head coaches was a rematch of the 174-pound finals at the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, between Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry, and Penn State’s Matt Brown. The outcome Sunday night was a replay of what happened in Des Moines last March, with Perry coming out on top… though, this time, the match went into overtime, tied, 2-2, at the end of regulation. With no scoring in the first one-minute sudden victory period, the match went into a tiebreaker with neither wrestler getting up from the bottom. After another scoreless sudden victory period, Perry rode Brown out in the 30-second tiebreaker and tallied a quick escape in the second period of the tiebreaker to walk away with the 3-2 win.

In discussing Brown’s loss, coach Sanderson said, “I think obviously he’s got to figure out how to get off the bottom. Perry’s very, very tough when he throws the head-arm and gets a leg in. That’s an area he’s getting beat in. But I’m optimistic about Matt’s chances. The match was pretty clear as to what happened.”

Despite Perry’s win, John Smith, long-time head coach at Oklahoma State, was not enthusiastic about the 2013 NCAA champ’s performance, saying, “I don’t think we had by far our better match. Really just didn’t seem that alert, Chris didn’t. He seemed to get set in a mode out there that this was going to be tough and it was going to take a one-point win. Maybe I’m looking at it wrong but he didn’t have his match by any means.”

With the win, Penn State is 14-1 for the season and 7-1 in the Big Ten; Oklahoma State is 9-5 overall.

Match Results

  • 125: No. 2 Nico Megaludis (PSU) dec. No. 13 Eddie Klimara (OSU), 11-7 (Team score: 3-0 Penn State)
  • 133: No. 4 Jon Morrison (OSU) dec. No. 16 Jimmy Gibbon (PSU), 2-0 (3-3)
  • 141: No. 2 Zain Retherford (PSU) dec. No. 19 Anthony Collica (OSU), 2-0 (6-3 Penn State)
  • 149: No. 9 Josh Kindig (OSU) dec. No. 17 Zack Beitz (PSU), 5-3 (6-6)
  • 157: No. 3 Alex Dieringer (OSU) dec. No. 6 Dylan Alton (PSU), 6-4 (9-6 Oklahoma State)
  • 165: No. 1 David Taylor (PSU) dec. No. 5 Tyler Caldwell (OSU)), 5-2 ( 9-9)
  • 174: No. 2 Chris Perry (OSU) dec. No, 4 Matt Brown (PSU), 4-3 (TB2) (12-9 Oklahoma State)
  • 184: No. 2 Ed Ruth (PSU) pinned Nolan Boyd (OSU), 5:41 (15-12 Penn State)
  • 197: No. 3 Morgan McIntosh (PSU) maj. dec. Kyle Crutchmer (OSU), 16-2 (19-12 Penn State)
  • Hwt: Jon Gingrich (PSU) maj. dec. Ethan Driver (OSU), 14-5 (23-12 Penn State)

For photos of the Penn State-Oklahoma State dual, visit the official Nittany Lions wrestling website... and

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