EAST LANSING, Mich. - A pair of pins from Michigan State redshirt freshmen Ian Hinton (Nappanee, Ind.) and David Cheza (Grand Blanc, Mich.) helped the MSU wrestling team defeat 17th-ranked Wisconsin, 25-17, on Friday night (Jan. 30) in its first home Big Ten meet of the season. Cheza pinned Wisconsin's Greg Burke in the last bout of the night clinch the win for the Spartans.
The win gives the Spartans (6-4, 1-2 Big Ten) their first Big Ten victory of the season, and sets the Badgers at 6-6, with an 0-3 Big Ten mark.
"I'm very proud of our team," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "I thought we wrestled hard in all 10 weight classes, and it kind of validates what we've been working on. It's nice to see us come out with a victory."
MSU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after 157-pound sophomore Anthony Jones Jr. (Highland Park, Mich.) earned a 7-3 decision over Ben Jordan. Wisconsin tied the match at three after 10th-ranked Andrew Howe beat MSU senior Rex Kendle (Edwardsburg, Mich.), 6-4.
In a thriller of a bout at 174, Hinton recorded a takedown with no time left on the clock to force overtime. With 13 seconds left in the extra session, Hinton pinned then Wisconsin's Travis Rutt to give MSU six crucial points and a 9-3 lead. MSU junior Nick Palmieri (Highland Heights, Ohio) then extended the lead to 12-3 with a 6-2 decision over Eric Bugenhagen at 184.
The Badgers won the next two bouts to tie it up at 12 going into halftime. Third-ranked 197-pounder Dallas Herbst pinned MSU's Tyler Dickenson (Pewamo, Mich.) in 2:12 to cut the lead to 12-9, and ninth-ranked heavyweight Kyle Massey earned a 5-2 decision over Spartan junior Alan O'Donnell (Lakewood, Mich.) to draw the teams even.
MSU 125-pound redshirt freshman Eric Olanowski (Virginia Beach, Va.) helped the Spartans regain the lead with a 7-0 decision over Drew Hammen. Sixth-ranked 133-pounder Franklin Gomez then recorded a major decision over Tom Kelliher, 11-3, to give MSU a 19-12 lead.
Zach Tanelli, Wisconsin's top-ranked wrestler at 141 pounds, earned a 21-5 technical fall win over redshirt freshman Collin Dozier (Virginia Beach, Va.) to cut the lead to 19-17. Cheza then pinned Burke in 6:22 to seal the MSU victory.
"David Cheza is a redshirt freshman," Minkel said. "He has the whole dual riding on his shoulders, a lot of pressure for a young guy, and he stepped up."
The Spartans return to Jenison Field House next Friday, Feb. 6, to take on defending national champion Iowa at 7 p.m.