COLUMBUS, Ohio – The third-ranked Ohio State wrestling team (9-0) opened up action at the 2010 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals with a 32-7 win over No. 15 Arizona State Saturday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The Buckeyes return to action at 4 p.m. ET Saturday against No. 8 Cornell. The Big Red defeated Wisconsin, 24-11, earlier in the day.   

Against the Sun Devils, senior tri-captain Lance Palmer’s 1:13-second pin of Vicente Varela at 149 pounds was crucial in spurring the Buckeyes’ seven consecutive wins in the match. Entering the 149-pound bout, Ohio State was down 7-3.

After Nikko Triggas dropped an 11-1 decision to 2009 NCAA semifinalist Anthony Robles at 125 pounds, followed by senior Reece Humphrey’s (141) first loss of the season, 3-1, to Chris Drouin, the Buckeyes were in need of bonus points heading into the fourth match of the dual. The Scarlet and Gray did secure a win at 133 pounds though, behind true-freshman Ian Paddock, who dealt Ben Ashmore a 5-3 loss.

It was Palmer’s pin that jumpstarted much needed momentum for Ohio State. A quick takedown put the Columbia Station, Ohio, native up by two, before he recorded his fourth fall of the season.

Just as significant as Palmer’s win, if not more, was red-shirt freshman’s Tony Jameson’s 5-2 win at 157 pounds. With the Buckeyes leading for the first time, 9-7, a decision by Michael Swigart would put Arizona State back on top. However, despite an early takedown by Swigart for a 2-0 lead, Jameson scored five unanswered points on a pair of nearfalls to propel Ohio State to a 12-7 advantage.

Of the five remaining matches, the Buckeyes compiled two major decisions at 165 and 197 pounds, respectively, and a fall by Mike Pucillo at 184 pounds, which ultimately sealed the Buckeye victory.

165-pounder Colt Sponseller amassed five takedowns, an escape and a riding time of 1:53 in his 12-3 win over Kyle DeBerry. The major decision was the fifth of the season for the Glenmont, Ohio, native.

Following a scoreless first period, senior Dave Rella collected an escape and takedown for a 3-0 lead heading into the final frame. Rella’s three points were enough to hold off Eric Starks despite the Sun Devil’s late surge and Rella escaped with a 3-2 win.

After missing action last weekend in New York, Pucillo, a senior tri-captain, returned for the Buckeyes at 184 pounds and did not miss a beat. A trade of points early in the first period in a takedown by Pucillo and an escape by Jake Meredith was the only action fans would see before Pucillo, a Strongsville, Ohio, native pinned Meredith in 2:02. 

With the Buckeye dual victory sealed (25-7), Ohio State still received bonus points from sophomore Cody Magrum on his 8-0 major decision over Anthony Pike at 197 pounds. Three takedowns, an escape and a riding time of 2:28 lifted Magrum to the shutout.

Wrapping up an impressive outing for the Scarlet and Gray was senior Corey Morrison at heavyweight. Morrison survived to win 3-2 against Eric Nye on a takedown and escape.

NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals
No. 3 Ohio State 32, No. 15 Arizona State 7
Jan. 9, 2010
Cedar Falls, Iowa

125 – Anthony Robles (ASU) mdec. Nikko Triggas, 11-1
133 – Ian Paddock dec. Ben Ashmore (ASU), 5-3
141 – Chris Drouin (ASU) dec. No. 1 Reece Humphrey, 3-1
149 – No. 3 Lance Palmer pinned Vicente Varela (ASU), 1:13
157 – Tony Jameson dec. Michael Swigart (ASU), 5-2
165 – No. 7 Colt Sponseller mdec. Kyle DeBerry (ASU), 12-3
174 – No. 20 Dave Rella dec. Eric Starks (ASU), 3-2
184 – No. 8 Mike Pucillo pinned Jake Meredith (ASU), 2:02
197 – Cody Magrum mdec. Anthony Pike (ASU), 8-0
285 – Corey Morrison dec. Eric Nye (ASU), 3-2