"He's the MVP of the (Big Ten) in my opinion".
With its 19-18 win over No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday, No. 1 Penn State clinched a share of the Big Ten Wrestling Dual Meet Championship. MI is one point behind Wisconsin in the conference standings, and a split seems like the logical pick.
Ohio State will travel to Purdue Wednesday night.
And while falling into a trance of turnovers, fouls and missing long shots, IL went 19 consecutive possessions without scoring.
The Buckeyes, playing without suspended guard Kam Williams, overcame an IL lead to tie the score at the 5-minute mark.
"We're going to have to play very, very well and I think our guys understand that".
"(We) just prepare the same way every game", he said. The Illini were held without a point for the rest of the first half and gave up a 19-0 run to the Buckeyes to close out the first 20 minutes.
IL forced 10 turnovers in the first half. A win over Iowa in the sold out Bryce Jordan Center next Saturday would give Penn State the crown outright. In his first year as coach, Brad Underwood is simply hoping to avoid embarrassments and build his program. Ronnie Hein got the first Buckeye goal on the power play, 4:06 into the opening period, as he took a pass to the right of goaltender John Lethemon, curled out front and put the puck in the far corner of the net. That's this team's downfall.
"It should be a pretty big hostile environment, so we'll be prepared for anything".
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You'll see that IL did not score a single point in the final 10:11 of the first half and extended that scoring drought another 1:20 of the second half. They ended up winning the game 75-67.
Ohio State continues its 2017-18 season on Sunday against IL. We did get away from that. After an initial takedown by Tomasello, Kuhn went on the offensive scoring three takedowns, including a headlock off the edge of the mat and led 8-7 at the end of the first period. "That's why they capitalized".
He finished with a game-high 35 points and 13 rebounds. It reeled off 11 straight points in a 2:39 span to grab a 28-13 advantage at the 10:51 mark on two free throws by Alstork. "They went on their stretch and we took their punch, and then we came back and took a punch and it was anybody's game the final four minutes".
"I'm excited to see what happens", said Martin, a Penns Grove native.
To the Illini's credit - and here is where this team has improved since its 25-point loss at Wisconsin on January 19 - they joined the dogfight with teeth bared.
"We have to stop beating ourselves", Jordan said.
Then, at 174 and 184, in a pair of rematches of 2017 NCAA finals matches, Penn State added two more wins to take the lead. We had Nickal in the air and he won the scramble at the edge.