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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After trailing 3-0 to start the match, the No. 4 Ohio State wrestling team won five of the next six bouts en route to defeating No. 13 Penn State, 21-14, Sunday in St. John Arena to open Big Ten Conference action.

The Buckeyes improve to 12-1 overall and move to 1-0 in the league. The Nittany Lions drop to 8-4-1 and 0-1 in the conference under first-year head coach Cael Sanderson.

After junior Nikko Triggas lost a close 9-7 decision to No. 12 Brad Pataky at 125 pounds, freshman 133-pounder Ian Paddock began the winning stretch for Ohio State with his 13-2 major decision over Bryan Pearsall. The Buckeye from Warsaw, N.Y., nearly shut out Pearsall, but the Nittany Lion was able to record a last minute reversal. Paddock now stands alone in second place on the team with six major decisions.

After going 2-2 at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals two weekends ago, No. 3 Reece Humphrey rebounded with an impressive 22-7 technical fall over Adam Lynch at 141 pounds. It was Humphrey’s team-leading fourth technical fall of the season. In the match, Humphrey, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., recorded nine takedowns, a 2-point nearfall and escape. He complemented that line with a 3:16 riding time advantage.

Lance Palmer won the matchup at 149 pounds. In a bout that featured No. 3 vs. No. 5, the Buckeye from Columbia Station, Ohio, used a takedown and a reversal, as well as 1:28 riding time, to secure the 5-3 victory.

Up just 12-3, the Buckeyes’ Tony Jameson suffered a 10-2 setback to No. 5 Cyler Sanderson at 157 pounds. However, back-to-back wins at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, would give Ohio State an 18-7 cushion.

It was a battle of No. 7 vs. No. 8 at 165 pounds between Buckeye Colt Sponseller and Nittany Lion Dan Vallimont.  Sponseller, who hails from Glenmont, Ohio, edged Vallimont, 4-2. Sponseller was down early, 2-0, but consecutive escapes made the score even. Back-to-back stalling calls on Vallimont gave Sponseller a 3-2 lead and coupled with a riding time of 1:34, the 4-2 win.

A 12-5 decision by No. 12 Dave Rella over Justin Ortega followed. After a scoreless first period, Rella recorded a pair of takedowns and an escape in the second period to Ortega’s lone escape for the 5-1 lead heading into the final frame. Three more Rella takedowns and a 1:35 riding time sealed the Buckeye victory.

Penn State was able to cut Ohio State’s lead to seven after TC Pendleton, who received the starting nod at 184 pounds, lost a 15-2 major decision to No. 12 David Erwin

However, at 197 pounds, C.J. Magrum recorded a 10-6 decision against David Crowell to put the Buckeyes ahead 21-11. The Buckeye from Oak Harbor, Ohio, had a 6-2 lead going into the second period, but Crowell made a comeback in the middle period as Magrum only owned a 6-5 lead. But a takedown, escape and a 3:53 riding time propelled him to his 13th win of the season.

In the final match of the afternoon, No. 20 Corey Morrison lost, 10-4, to No. 11 Cameron Wade.   

Up next, Ohio State will travel to Purdue and Indiana Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, respectively. The Buckeyes and Boil¬ermakers will wrestle at 7 p.m. in Holloway Gymna¬sium. The Scarlet and Gray and Hoosiers will face each other at 2 p.m. in University Gymnasium.

Postmatch Notes
The match will air on the Big Ten Network at 10 p.m. ET on tape delay. It is the first of four broadcasts that will feature the Buckeyes on the BTN – Ohio State at Purdue Jan. 29 at 11 p.m. ET (tape delay), Ohio State vs. Michigan Feb. 5 at 11 p.m. (tape delay) and Ohio State at Iowa Feb. 19 at 10 30 p.m. ET (tape delay).

Ohio State sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor served as the honorary captain during the match Sunday.

The Buckeyes’ next home match at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 vs. Michigan is Military Appreciation Night. Ohio State will take time to recognize those who are currently or were involved in the Armed Services. Also, the evening will feature a tribute to former Buckeye wrestler Ray Mendoza, who died of wounds sustained during Operation Steel Curtain Nov. 14, 2005 in New Ubaydi, Iraq. Mendoza is believed to be the first and only former or current Ohio State student-athlete to die in the war in Iraq.
 
Past Buckeye wrestlers will be recognized as the evening also is alumni night. 

No. 4 Ohio State 21, No. 13 Penn State 14
Jan. 24, 2010
St. John Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 3,000

125: No. 12 Brad Pataky (PSU) dec. No. 19 Nikko Triggas (OSU), 9-7; 0-3
133: Ian Paddock (OSU) maj. dec. Bryan Pearsall (PSU), 13-2; 4-3
141: No. 3 Reece Humphrey (OSU) tech. fall. Adam Lynch (PSU), 22-7; 9-3
149: No. 3 Lance Palmer (OSU) dec. No. 5 Frank Molinaro (PSU), 5-3; 12-3
157: No. 5 Cyler Sanderson (PSU) maj. dec. Tony Jameson (OSU), 10-2; 12-7
165: No. 7 Colt Sponseller (OSU) dec. No. 8 Dan Vallimont (PSU), 4-2; 15-7
174: No. 12 Dave Rella (OSU) dec. Justin Ortega (PSU), 12-5; 18-7
184: No. 12 David Erwin (PSU) maj. dec. T.C. Pendleton (OSU), 15-2; 18-11
197: C.J. Magrum (OSU) dec. David Crowell (OSU), 10-6; 21-11
285: No. 11 Cameron Wade (PSU) dec. No. 20 Corey Morrison (OSU), 10-4; 21-14