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No. 1 Oklahoma State wrestling falls to No. 2 Penn State in NWCA dual final

The Cowboys end their dual season with a loss to the defending champions.

Bo Nickal, top, locks up a cradle for a 38-second pin against Nolan Boyd during their 184-pound match Feb. 19, 2017 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.

The top-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team jumped out to a fast start against second-ranked Penn State.

But the reigning national champions, and winners of five of the past six NCAA titles, won seven straight matches to beat the Cowboys, 27-13, on Sunday afternoon in front of a Gallagher-Iba Arena record 14,059. OSU won the first three matches before the Nittany Lions rattled off seven wins, including Bo Nickal’s 38-second pin of Nolan Boyd at 184 pounds to clinch the NWCA National Duals Championship Series.

PSU suffered more than a loss to start the dual.

No. 11 Nick Piccininni won by injury default at the 3 minute, 34 second mark over No. 2 Nick Suriano at 125. Suriano suffered an ankle injury during a second period scramble and couldn’t continue.

Kaid Brock, ranked No. 3, followed with a 17-6 major decision over unranked George Carpenter at 133 to give the Cowboys a 10-0 lead. Defending champion Dean Heil earned a 3-2 decision over No. 10 Jimmy Guilbon at 141 for his 24th win on the season to remain undefeated.

Then came the most anticipated match of the dual: PSU defending NCAA champion Zain Retherford vs. OSU’s No. 2 Anthony Collica. Retherford picked up riding time in the second period, but he was issued two warning for failure to return Collica to the match after the Cowboy continued to reach his feet. Collica wasn’t as dominate from the top position in the third as Retherford escaped for the win.

PSU then started to roll.

Top-ranked Jason Nolf earned the first true bonus points of the dual with a convincing 24-9 technical fall over OSU’s No. 6 Joseph Smith at 157. Smith made just his second start since Jan. 27 after dealing with a lingering knee injury. PSU’s Vincenzo Joseph controlled Chandler Rogers, 12-4, at 165 before freshman No. 7 Mark Hall picked up a third-period takedown for a 3-2 decision over OSU senior Kyle Crutchmer, ranked ninth, to give PSU a 15-13 lead.

Boyd wasted no time by shooting off the whistle against Nickal, who turned the OSU senior to his back for the pin to seal the win. PSU’s No. 9 Matt McCutheon scored two late takedowns to edge No. 8 Preston Weigel, 4-3, at 197. With the dual secured for PSU, Cowboys head coach John Smith opted to sit sixth-ranked heavyweight Austin Schafer for Derek White. No. 3 Nick Nevills didn’t overlook White, winning the bout by 10-5 decision.

PSU heads to the Big 10 Championships on March 4-5 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Cowboys return to action the same weekend at the Big 12 Conference Championships at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

No. 2 Penn State 27, No. 1 Oklahoma State 13

125-Nick Piccininni (OSU) by injury default over Nick Suriano, 3:34
133-Kaid Brock (OSU) major decision George Carpenter, 17-6
141-Dean Heil (OSU) decision Jimmy Gulibon, 3-2
149-Zain Retherford (PSU) decision Anthony Collica, 2-1
157-Jason Nolf (PSU) technical fall Joe Smith, 24-9 (7:00)
165-Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) major decision Chandler Rogers, 12-4
174-Mark Hall (PSU) decision Kyle Crutchmer, 3-1
184-Bo Nickal (PSU) pin Nolan Boyd, :38
197-Matt McCutcheon (PSU) decision Preston Weigel, 4-3
285-Nick Nevills (PSU) decision Derek White, 10-5