Bradley: Big Ten Champ Again

Eric Bradley became just the third Nittany Lion to win two or more Big Ten titles on their career Saturday at the Big Ten wrestling championships in Iowa City, Iowa. Bradley successfully defended his 184-pound title with a 3-2 win over No. 1 seeded Brian Glynn if Illinois in the final. Bradley led six Nittany Lions who qualified for the NCAA championships March 17-19 in St. Louis.

Penn State took seventh in the team standings with 72.5 points. Illinois (130) won the team title followed by Minnesota (123.5), Michigan (118), Iowa (94.5), and Indiana (89) and Wisconsin (89) tied for fifth. Illinois became the first team in 32 years other than Iowa or Minnesota to win a Big Ten wrestling title. Three Nittany Lions exceeded their seeding and four reached it while two (including the injured DeWitt Driscoll) placed lower than their seed as Penn State went 18-22 on the tournament.

Bradley (26-3 on the year) faced Glynn for the fifth time on his career in Sunday's final. Bradley, the No. 2 seed, was 1-3 all-time in matches against the Illini wrestler (all decided by two points or less) entering Sunday as the pair split two meetings earlier this year. The two wrestled through a scoreless first period. Glynn took down and escaped easily to start the second, but Bradley got the crucial first takedown as he converted on the edge of the mat for a 2-1 lead. Glynn again easily escaped to tie things up. Bradley took down to start the third period and easily got out to take a 3-2 lead. He fought off a couple of strong Glynn takedown attempts to claim his second Big Ten title. Bradley joins Sanshiro Abe (1993, 1994 & 1996) and Kerry McCoy (1994, 1995 & 1997), both three-time Big Ten champions, as just the third Nittany Lion to claim two or more Big Ten titles and the first to repeat since McCoy in 1995.

Three Nittany Lions earned their NCAA bids on the final day, two posting wins in seventh-place bouts and one (Nathan Galloway) earning one of two wild-card bids voted on by the coaches. Freshman Phil Davis (197) made a strong charge for a fourth-place finish in his first Big Ten tournament, while senior Adam Smith (125) posted his best Big Ten tournament with a fourth-place finish in his fourth and final appearance.

Freshman Bryan Heller (133) and junior Joel Edwards (Hwt.) took home seventh-place finishes and automatic NCAA bids, while freshman Jack Decker (149), and sophomores Nate Galloway (157) and James Yonushonis (174) took losses on the day and finished eighth. Penn State went 2-3 in the seventh place-matches in which it wrestled. A sixth was injury defaulted by Driscoll after he re-injured his right knee on Saturday night. Driscoll, a No. 7 seed who entered the tournament ranked No. 15 in the nation, ended his junior campaign with a 28-15 record after going 2-2 in the tournament. Preliminary tests by team trainers point to torn ligaments in the knee.

Smith, the No. 6 seed, went 4-2 on the tournament, beating two seeded wrestlers and taking home a career-best fourth-place finish. The Newport, Pa., native was impressive in a consolation semifinal win over No. 5 seed Bobbe Lowe to start Sunday. Smith got on the board first with a first-period takedown and then rode out the first period. He extended to a 3-0 lead with an escape to start the second. Lowe started neutral in the third and scored a takedown when a momentarily stunned Smith attempted to ask for injury time and Lowe dropped to a double-leg takedown. Smith quickly got out, however, and fought of Lowe's remaining attempts for the victory.

Smith ran up against No. 3 seed Joe Dubuque for the third time this season and second time in the tournament in the third-place match. Dubuque had won both the previous meeting, including 7-4 in the second round of the Big Ten championships. This time Dubuque continued his mastery of Smith posting a takedown in all three periods and posting a 7-2 win. Smith qualified for his third straight NCAA championships and will take a 23-12 record to St. Louis.

Davis, the No. 4 seed, was impressive in his first match of the day as he dominated No. 2 seed Nathan Moore, a wrestler he beat 8-0 earlier on the year, in an 11-1 major decision. Davis got a first-period takedown and turned Moore for a two-point near fall. He then took neutral to start the second and got another takedown and a stalling penalty on Moore on the bottom. Moore took down and escaped to start the third, but Davis again took him down, gained another stalling point and racked up 4:42 in riding time for the win.

Heller, the No. 7 seed, dominated his match with No. 8 seed Ryan Froese. Heller dominated from the beginning posting three first-period takedowns. He added another in the second and then escaped to start the third, got another takedown and added a three-point near fall for a 15-3 win and his first trip to the NCAA championships.

Edwards, the No. 8 seed, was equally impressive in rolling past No. 6 seed Kirk Nail 10-0. Edwards got the opening takedown and took Nail towars his back for a two-point near fall in the first period. He added takedowns in the second and third and 1:51 in riding time for the win and his first NCAA bid.

Decker, the No. 8 seed, ran up against a tough matchup with No. 3 seed Doug Withstandley in his seventh-place bout. Withstandley controlled the match and held a 10-1 lead when he took Decker to his back and pinned him at 6:11 of the third. Decker ends his freshman campaign with a 20-24 record.

Galloway suffered an unusual loss after a prolonged protest by coaches. After a first-period takedown and an escape to start the third, Galloway held a 3-2 lead in the closing seconds when No. 6 seed Tyler Turner got in deep on a takedown attempt. He brought Galloway down to the mat and was working to finish off the go-ahead score when time expired with the lead referee still signaling no control. Galloway jumped up thinking he had won and began to take off his anklets when the second official came to the scorers’ table and signaled a takedown for Turner giving him a 4-3 win. Penn State coaches immediately protested as Galloway sat on the mat stunned. However, after an extended meeting with tournament officials the protest was denied and Turner's victory stood. Galloway received his second NCAA bid following a coaches meeting and will take a 28-14 record to St. Louis.

At 174, No. 8 seed James Yonushonis faced No. 7 seed Gabriel Dretsch in an overtime match. Dretsch took the early lead with a first-period takedown. Yonushonis escaped and trailed 2-1 going into the third. Dretsch took down and escaped but was taken down by Yonushonis. Drestch escaped before the end of the period to lead 4-3 going into the third. Yonushonis escaped to start the third and neither man was able to score as the match went to overtime. Neither man scored in the first one-minute period and Dretsch took down and escaped quickly in the first 30-second rideout. Yonushonis took down to start his rideout period but, despite getting to his feet twice, was unable to escape and Dretsch prevailed 5-4.

Penn State Big Ten Tournament Scores

Tournament Overall: 18-22

1st Round: 2-1

Second Round: 1-8

First Round Consolations: 7-1

Semifinal: 1-0

Second Round Consolations: 2-6

Consolation Semifinals: 2-0

7th Place Matches: 2-4

Third Place Matches: 0-2

Final: 1-0

125 - (6) Adam Smith - 4th Place - NCAA Qualified

W, 8-6 vs. Nathan Costello (OSU)

L, 7-4 to (3) Joe Dubuque (IU)

Consolation Bracket

W, 8-3 over Jim Shutich (MI)

W, 12-5 vs. Brandon Tucker (PU)

W, 5-2 (5) Bobbe Lowe (MN)

Third Place Match

L, 7-2 to (3) Joe Dubuque (IU)

Season Record: 23-12 Tournament Record: 4-2

133 - (7) Bryan Heller - 7th Place - NCAA Qualified


L, 18-4 to (2) Mack Reiter (MN)

Consolation Bracket

W, 16-6 vs. Daniel Quintela (NU)

L, 7-3 to (3) Tom Clum (WI)

7th Place Math

W, 15-3 vs. (8) Ryan Froese (MSU)

Season Record: 22-15 Tournament Record: 2-2

141 - (7) DeWitt Driscoll - 8th Place - Injury Def.

W, F;2:59 vs. Tommy Owen (MN)

L, 6-1 to (2) Andy Simmons (MSU)

Consolation Bracket

W, 10-2 vs. Ben Sprunger (PU)

L, Def: 6:01 to (3) Casio Pero (IL)

7th Place Match

Inj. Default to Tommy Owen (MN)

Season Record: 28-15 Tournament Record: 2-2

149 - (8) Jack Decker - 8th Place


L, TF21-4;5:09 to (1) Eric Tannenbaum (MI)

Consolation Bracket

W, 5-2 vs. (7) Stephen Wolery (OSU)

L, 5-0 to Quincy Osborn (MN)

7th Place Match

L, F;6:11 to (3) Doug Withstandley (PU)

Season Record: 20-24 Tournament Record: 1-3

157 - (4) Nathan Galloway - 8th Place - NCAA Qualified


L, F;6:18 to (5) Brandon Becker (IN)

Consolation Bracket

W, 16-6 John Vogel (OSU)

L, 5-2 to Colton Salazar (PU)

7th Place Match

L, 4-3 to (6) Tyler Turner (WI)

Season Record: 28-14 Tournament Record: 1-3

165 - Jarrad Turner - DNP

L, F;2:42 to (2) Mark Perry (IA)

Consolation Bracket

L, 6-2 to (8) Bryan Harney (MSU)

Season Record: 9-22 Tournament Record: 0-2

174 - (8) James Yonushonis - 8th Place


L, 10-6 to (1) Pete Friedl (ILL)

Consolation Bracket

W, 8-4 vs. Luke Lofthouse (IA)

L, 3-2 to (4) Nick Roy (MI)

7th Place Match

L, 5-4;tb1 to (7) Gabriel Dretsch (MN)

Season Record: 14-19 Tournament Record: 1-3

184 - (2) Eric Bradley - CHAMPION - NCAA Qualified


W, 3-1 over (7) Mike Tamillow (NU)


W, 3-2 vs. (6) Roger Kish (MN)


W, 3-2 vs. (1) Brian Glynn (ILL)

Season Record: 26-3 Tournament Record: 3-0

197 - (4) Phil Davis - 4th Place - NCAA Qualified


L, 2-1 to (5) Tyrone Byrd (ILL)

Consolation Bracket

W, 7-0 (6) Willie Breyer (MI)

W, 6-3 over (8) Matt Koz (MN)

W, 11-1 vs. (2) Nathan Moore (PU)

3rd Place Match

L, F;1:38 to (7) Ryan Flaherty (WI)

Season Record: 33-8 Tournament Record: 3-2

Hwt. - (8) Joel Edwards - 7th Place - NCAA Qualified


L, F;0:36 to (1) Cole Konrad (MN)

Consolation Bracket


L, 5-3 to (5) Matt Fields (IA)

Seventh Place Match

W, 10-0 to (6) Kirk Nail (OSU)

Season Record: 22-14 Tournament Record: 1-2


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