Wisconsin Upsets No. 12 Rutgers, 18-15


Logo Rutgers Scarlett Knights

Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Ben Solomon and Rutgers Athletics

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – A Wisconsin pin in the opening bout at 133 pounds made it an uphill climb for No. 12 Rutgers wrestling Friday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center. The Scarlet Knights were unable to recover after battling to the final match, falling to the Badgers, 18-15.

Along with the late fall to open the dual, RU dropped two other matches by a point and fell in the winner-take-all 125-pound matchup. The dual loss was Rutgers’ (13-4, 3-3) first at home this season, snapping a seven-match winning streak dating back to 2014-15.

“They wrestled last year and it was a really good match,” said head coach Scott Goodale of the 125-pound matchup between No. 20 Sean McCabe (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) and Johnny Jimenez. “That thing can go either way. He didn’t finish his single-leg early in the match which is huge … we didn’t convert takedowns up and down the lineup and that’s what happens.”

The night began at 133 pounds with a matchup between No. 7 Ryan Taylor (UW) and No. 17 Scarlet Knight Anthony Giraldo (Guttenberg, N.J.). Giraldo (14-9) and the 2015 All-American were tied, 4-4, with time winding down, but Taylor threw Giraldo to his back and got the pin at 6:54 to give UW a 6-0 dual lead.

A bout later, No. 6 141-pounder Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) won the 50th match of his RU career, 7-2, against Gabe Grahek to cut into the Badger (2-5, 1-4) lead, but another close call at 149 pounds proved to be huge in the dual outcome.

Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) took a 3-0 lead into the final period, where Wisconsin’s Andrew Crone reversed and got back points before winning by a 5-4 final.

The two teams would split the next two bouts leading into the intermission.

No. 17 Richie Lewis (Toms River, N.J.) won his fourth consecutive match by out-gritting TJ Ruschell, 3-2. In a rematch of 2014 All-Americans at 165 pounds, No. 3 Isaac Taylor secured a 4-0 win over RU’s No. 8 Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.).

Another close loss followed at 174 pounds, where Phillip Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.) fell victim to a Ricky Robertson takedown with 34 seconds remaining in a 4-3 loss.

But Rutgers did not go down without a fight.

Consecutive decisions at 184, 197, and 285 pounds got the Scarlet Knights right back in the dual, tying things at 15 all.

It began with Nicholas Gravina (Allendale, N.J.), who with 3:56 of riding time scored a 7-2 decision to make the lead 15-9 Wisconsin. Senior 197-pounder Hayden Hrymack (Point Pleasant, N.J.) followed with a gutsy performance and a 7-4 win over Eric Peissig. That win made the dual 15-12 in favor of the Badgers.

No. 13 Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) brought Rutgers all the way back with a 4-2 decision and 1:07 of riding time against Brock Horwath (UW). In what was his 94th-career win, Smith (20-5) scored the first takedown 35 seconds into the match and never looked back.

With the dual tied, 15-15, it came down to McCabe against Jimenez at 125 pounds. The match swung on the first takedown, with McCabe holding a single on Jimemez for nearly 40 seconds before losing the two in a scramble.

McCabe (13-8) made it interesting with a reversal in the second period, but an escape and takedown to start the third for Jimenez put the match away and gave the Badgers an 18-15 win.

Wisconsin improved to 3-0 all-time against Rutgers with the victory.

Rutgers is back in action at the RAC on Sunday, Feb. 7 at noon. The Scarlet Knights host No. 8 Michigan (10-2, 5-1) in their final home conference match of the season.

Prior to the match, the program will honor seniors Hayden Hrymack (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.), Mikey Simmons (Middletown, Pa.) and Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.). The match will stream live on BTN Plus.

Wisconsin (2-5, 1-4) 18, No. 12 Rutgers (13-4, 3-3) 15
Play-by-Play Results
Dual started at 133 pounds
Location: Rutgers Athletic Center (Piscataway, N.J.)
Officials: Anthony Zullo, Nate Chatman
Attendance: 2,861
133: No. 7/7/NR Ryan Taylor (UW) wins by fall over No. 17/18/18 Anthony Giraldo (RU), 6:54; Wisconsin leads, 6-0
141: No. 6/4/6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over Gabe Grahek (UW), 7-2; Wisconsin leads, 6-3
149: Andrew Crone (UW) dec. over Tyson Dippery (RU), 5-4; Wisconsin leads, 9-3
157: No. 17/20/12 Richie Lewis (RU) dec. over TJ Ruschell (UW), 3-2; Wisconsin leads, 9-6
165: No. 3/3/3 Isaac Jordan (UW) dec. over No. 8/5/4 Anthony Perrotti (RU), 4-0; Wisconsin leads, 12-6
174: Ricky Robertson (UW) dec. over No. NR/20/NR Phillip Bakuckas (RU), 4-3; Wisconsin leads, 15-6
184: No. 20/19/20 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Ryan Christensen (UW), 7-2; Wisconsin leads, 15-9
197: Hayden Hrymack (RU) dec. over Eric Peissig (UW), 7-4; Wisconsin leads, 15-12
285: No. 13/15/12 Billy Smith (RU) dec. over Brock Horwath (UW), 4-2; Match tied, 15-15
125: Johnny Jimenez (UW) dec. over No. 20/19/NR Sean McCabe (RU), 7-4; Wisconsin wins, 18-15
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat
NR denotes not ranked

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