4 Boilermakers Earn Big Ten Hardware
March 5, 2017

Purdue Results / Brackets, Results / NCAA Allocations 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Four Purdue wrestlers are bringing home Big Ten Championships hardware. Alex Griffin (157) placed sixth and Christian Brunner finished seventh (197), while Ben Thornton (125) and Jacob Morrissey (174) took eighth as the two-day tournament concluded Sunday inside Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall.

With their performances this weekend, Griffin, Morrissey and Brunner earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships that will be held March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

The full 330 NCAA Championships field of 281 automatic qualifiers and 49 at-large selections will be released on NCAA.com in the late afternoon or early evening. The brackets will be unveiled on the online NCAA Selection Show here at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Griffin wrestled above his No. 10 seed with a sixth-place showing. Fourth-seeded Jake Short of Minnesota took an 8-3 match from Griffin in the fifth-place match. It was a 4-0 decision for No. 6 Brian Murphy in the consolation semifinals that set up the match with Short.

The redshirt senior from Lafayette, Indiana, went 2-3 at Big Tens, taking his season mark to 24-13. He secured his second NCAA Championships appearance with a 6-2 upset of ninth-seeded TJ Ruschell of Wisconsin on Saturday. Griffin was a 149-pound qualifier in 2016.
Brunner avenged an early season loss to Cash Wilcke when it mattered most, beating the seventh-seeded Hawkeye 7-2 to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships. A takedown was scored in each of the three periods, including the final one with five seconds on the clock to lock down his bid.

The East Dundee, Illinois, native, went 2-3 at the Big Ten Championships to become the first true freshman to place for the Boilermakers since Cashé Quiroga took sixth at 125 pounds in 2010. Brunner also extended Purdue's streak of 197-pounders earning a spot on the podium to 14 straight years.

Brunner's NCAA bid is also the first for a true freshman since Quiroga in 2010. He'll take a 23-15 record, highlighted by six wins in his last eight matches, into St. Louis.
No. 8 Devin Skatzka of Indiana got revenge on seventh-seeded Morrissey, with a 7-4 decision in the seventh-place match at 174 pounds. Morrissey (16-11) secured his first NCAA Championships appearance Saturday with a 6-4 win in sudden victory against Nebraska's ninth-seeded Micah Barnes of Nebraska, 6-4, in sudden victory
With seven spots allocated for the Big Ten Conference at 125 pounds, the seventh-place match was a must-win for Thornton, but eighth-seeded Jose Rodriguez of Ohio State denied Thornton's quest for an automatic bid, pinning him in 3:53. The 26-15 redshirt sophomore has to wait until Tuesday to find out if he will receive one of the six at-large bids.

Purdue scored 26 points, taking 12th in the team standings. The Boilermakers finished ahead of Indiana (24.5) and Northwestern (18).



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