No. 7 Nebraska wrestling falls in narrow loss to No. 2 Penn State

Nebraska's Collin Purinton celebrates his victory over Penn State's Jarod Verkleeren.

LINCOLN — Second-ranked Penn State had its 60-dual winning streak snapped earlier this season and No. 7 Nebraska was on the verge of handing the Nittany Lions another loss Friday night at the Devaney Center.

Nebraska led 18-17 with one match remaining before freshman Seth Nevills earned a 4-0 decision over Christian Lance, giving Penn State the 20-18 victory.

Both teams won five matches, but Penn State picked up bonus points with a pin and two major decisions.

The Huskers grabbed a 12-8 lead midway through the dual on back-to-back wins by Collin Purinton and Peyton Robb.

Purinton led his 149-pound match 3-2 before getting Jarod Verkleeren on his back for a pin with 1:10 left. Robb then had a 4:37 riding-time advantage in his 5-3 win at 157.

Penn State had top-ranked wrestlers at the next two weights and both won. Vincenzo Joseph downed fifth-ranked Isaiah White 5-1, then Mark Hall led Mikey Labriola 8-2 late before finishing the match with a crucial pin with eight seconds remaining at 174.

Nebraska responded as Taylor Venz (184) and Eric Schultz (197) each decisioned ranked opponents. Venz, ranked eighth, pulled away from a 3-3 first-period tie to down sixth-ranked Aaron Brooks 9-5. It was Brooks’ first loss this season.

Schultz’s win set up the heavyweight match, which was scoreless through two periods. Nevills escaped to start the third then recorded a takedown with 20 seconds left to secure the win.

The dual drew a Nebraska wrestling record crowd of 5,960.

Nebraska, which lost 26-6 at No. 1 Iowa last Saturday, returns to action Sunday at home against Michigan State.

PENN STATE 20, NEBRASKA 18

125: Alex Thomsen, NU, dec. Brandon Meredith, 3-1 SV. 133: Roman Bravo-Young, PS, major dec. Ridge Lovett, 11-3. 141: Nick Lee, PS, major dec. CJ Red, 9-1. 149: Collin Purinton, NU, pinned Jarod Verkleeren, 5:50. 157: Peyton Robb, NU, dec. Bo Pipher, 5-3. 165: Vincenzo Joseph, PS, dec. Isaiah White, 5-1. 174: Mark Hall, PS, pinned Mikey Labriola, 6:52. 184: Taylor Venz, NU, dec. Aaron Brooks, 9-5. 197: Eric Schultz, NU, dec. Shakur Rasheed, 3-1. Hwt: Seth Nevills, PS, dec. Christian Lance, 4-0.

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