WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team opened the 2011-12 Big Ten Dual season in impressive fashion Friday night, topping visiting Michigan State University (MSU), 22-17, in Holloway Gymnasium. Freshman Braden Atwood and Brandon Nelsen led the effort with pins at 184 and 141 pounds, respectively, while seventh-ranked sophomore Cashé Quiroga had a triumphant return to the lineup at 133 pounds.
MSU took control of the dual at the beginning as the dual started at 165 pounds with a 6-2 decision by Spartan senior David Cheza over Purdue sophomore Kyle Mosier, followed by a narrow 11-10 win for MSU senior Curran Jacobs at 174 pounds as he rallied from behind to edge Boilermaker rookie Drake Stein. Atwood got the Boilermakers right back into the action as he stuck Spartan senior Ian Hinton to even the team score, 6-6. After a scoreless first period, Atwood took the bottom position and picked up a reversal before stretching Hinton to his back for the fall at the 4:11-mark.
"It was a huge win for Braden," said Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel, who won his ninth career Big Ten Dual. "Earning that first Big Ten win is a big accomplishment for a freshman, and to get it over a guy who's been to NCAA's a few times already should give him the confidence he needs to be successful the rest of the way."
The anticipated return of 12th-ranked senior A.J. Kissel for the Boilermakers at 197 pounds had a lackluster result as he gave up a takedown to MSU senior Tyler Dickenson in the last 15 seconds to fall, 4-3, but Purdue heavyweight classmate Roger Vukobratovich notched his second win of the season over a Spartan 285-pounder to knot up the team score at the intermission. Already owning a victory over 13th-ranked sophomore Mike McClure, the Spartans sent junior Steve Andrus to the mat to face Vukobratovich. Andrus led most of the match on the strength of a first-period takedown, but Vukobratovich managed a two-point maneuver of his own in the closing seconds to win, 4-3, and improve to 8-4 on the season.
The Spartans jumped back on top after the intermission as sophomore Brenan Lyon rolled out a 9-1 major decision over Purdue freshman Luke Schroeder, but the Boilermakers responded once again as Quiroga was dominant in a 19-7 major decision over freshman Brandon Fifield to tie it up, 13-13. Quiroga reeled off eight takedowns in the contest, but Fifield refused to open up on bottom and prevented Quiroga from scoring any back points.
Nelsen put the Boilermakers in firm control of the match at 141 pounds, notching his team-best sixth fall of the season as he pinned freshman Brian Gibbs at 6:25. The Purdue freshman dominated from the get-go, opening up a 9-1 lead after the first two periods, and surrendering the lone point on a technical violation call. In the third period Gibbs took the neutral position and Nelsen worked through a scramble to score a takedown and take the Spartan rookie to his blades for the fall and a six-point team lead, 19-13. Eighth-ranked junior Ivan Lopouchanski sealed the match for the Boilermakers at 149 pounds, holding off game Spartan junior Dan Osterman, 4-3. Each grappler scored one takedown in the bout, but Lopouchanski managed escapes in the second and third periods to hold the final edge and put the team score out of reach.
MSU senior Anthony Jones had an impressive showing at 157 pounds, earning a 12-3 major decision over Purdue junior Tommy Churchard, but the Boilermakers' lead was insurmountable as the final tally read 22-17. Purdue moves to 23-47-1 all-time against the Spartans, including an 11-22 home record, and has won four of the last five meetings with MSU.
The Boilermakers improve to 4-4 on the season in dual competition, while the Spartans drop to 2-2. Purdue returns to action next Sunday, Dec. 18, at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville where they'll face the host Cougars and Truman State University.
Purdue22 - Michigan State 17
Friday, December 9, 2011
IAF - West Lafayette, Ind.
165: David Cheza (MSU) def. Kyle Mosier (PUR), D 5-2 [MSU 3 - PUR 0]