No. 2-ranked Penn State jumped to a 17-point lead after three matches and went on to defeat the No. 13 Gophers 31-10 in a Big Ten wrestling meet Sunday at Maturi Pavilion.
Nick Lee, ranked No. 2 at 141 pounds, gave the defending NCAA champion Nittany Lions (10-2, 7-1) a 17-0 lead when he pinned No. 5 Mitch McKee in 1 minute, 56 seconds.
The Gophers (9-6, 4-3) pulled within 17-6 on decisions by No. 6 Brayton Lee and No. 22 Ryan Thomas. Lee trailed Jared Verkleeren 3-0 entering the third period but recorded two takedowns and won 7-5 in overtime. Thomas also rallied to win, posting the final takedown in the third period to beat Luke Gardner 5-4.
Penn State scored the next 14 points, including a 7-5 decision by No. 2 Mark Hall over No. 8 Devin Skatzka at 174 pounds. Hall, a senior from Apple Valley and three-time All-America, improved to 18-1 this season and 111-6 for his career.
Trailing 31-6, the Gophers scored the final four points on top-ranked Gable Steveson’s 13-5 major decision over No. 16 Seth Nevills. Steveson improved to 10-0 with nine bonus-point victories. He has now beaten heavyweights from all 13 other Big Ten schools.