Nick Simmons Ties MSU’s All-Time Pins Record, But Spartans Fall To No. 11 Penn State, 27-12

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Nick Simmons tied MSU’s all-time falls record by pinning Bryan Heller in 2:41 at 141 pounds, but Penn State still topped the No. 22 Michigan State wrestling team, 27-12, Sunday afternoon at Jenison Field House. Simmons tied Jim Mason, who collected 45 career falls from 1980-84. With the victory, Simmons also tied David Morgan for second place in the Spartan record books with 129 career victories.Simmons, ranked second at 133 pounds, wrestled at 141 for the second straight match due to an injury that forced fourth-ranked Andy Simmons from the lineup. Nick tied the falls record using his signature move, the spladle. With 42 seconds left in the first, Simmons recorded a takedown, then proceeded to tack on near-fall points to go up 4-0. After a restart at the 36-second mark, Simmons quickly put Heller on his back, and put him in the spladle. It was only a matter of seconds with Heller in the spladle that Simmons positioned himself for the record-tying pin."I just wanted to take care of business for Andy so he could get some rest," said Simmons. "It was good, it’s about time I tied it, I’ve been waiting too. Hopefully I can break it next week, but as long as you finish out the season with Big Tens and nationals, as long as I get that, this record is only second tier. I had a little more anxiety going into the weekend knowing I would be wrestling at 141, but I also knew that those guys would probably wrestle me a little more since they knew I was smaller than them."“For Nick to tie the record with a spladle in front of the home crowd was incredible,” said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. “I never thought I would see Nick at 141. He’s helped us out during this stretch, and hopefully we’ll be back to full strength next week.”MSU’s Greg Goidosik battled fifth-ranked James Yonushonis in a tough match at 174 pounds to start the dual, but fell, 3-0. After a scoreless first, Yonushonis escaped from Goidosik to start the second, and added a takedown with 58 seconds left in the period. It was all the scoring Yonushonis would need, as he held on for the 3-0 victory.No. 10 Joe Williams won his 25th match of the season with a 10-6 decision over Philip Bomberger at 184. Neither wrestler scored in the first, but Williams went up 5-1 heading into the third with an escape and two takedowns in the second. Williams let Bomberger escape to start the third, but Bomberger took advantage and quickly dropped Williams for a takedown and near-fall points at the 1:40 mark to go up 6-5. Williams escaped 10 seconds later and reclaimed the lead with 1:08 remaining, notching a takedown to go up 8-6. Bomberger was assessed a stalling point in the closing seconds of the match, and Williams had 1:40 of riding time to win by the final of 10-6.PSU’s top-ranked Phil Davis improved to 15-1 in duals this season by pinning Nick Palmieri in the 197-pound match, giving Penn State a 9-3 lead. Davis was up 5-0 before putting Palmieri on his back with 56 seconds left in the second period.No. 3 Aaron Anspach extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to 13-3 with a 20-7 major decision over Alan O’Donnell at heavyweight.In a rematch of the Penn State Open finals from earlier this season, No. 7 Franklin Gomez this time got the better of No. 10 Mark McKnight, winning 7-1. McKnight claimed the 125-pound PSU Open title on Dec. 3 with a 5-3, sudden-victory decision over Gomez. McKnight also beat Gomez in the finals of the 2005 PSU Open, 6-4.Gomez scored a late takedown in the first to go up 2-0, and escaped to start the second to make it 3-0. McKnight returned the favor with an escape to begin the third. After a flurry of shots from both wrestlers in the opening minute of the third, Gomez gained control for a takedown before going out-of-bounds with 52 seconds left. Gomez was then awarded a point after McKnight was called for his third false start, and he rode McKnight the rest of the match to accumulate 1:23 of riding time, winning by a final of 7-1.“That was kind of a redemption win for Franklin,” Minkel said. “McKnight is very, very tough. He’s fast like Franklin – there was more speed in that match than most you’ll ever see in a college wrestling match. That was a very important win for Franklin. He’s run into a slew of tough kids lately, and he’s got some more coming up, but that was a great win. “The thing about Franklin is that he has a great perspective on wrestling. He’s a great student of the sport. He doesn’t get rattled, he doesn’t get too emotional, he just does his job and tries to be better next week than he was this week.” After the break, 11th-ranked Jake Strayer recorded a major decision over MSU’s Clint Frutiger at 133 pounds, 11-1.Following Simmons’ pin at 141, the Nittany Lions closed the dual with three straight victories. At 149 pounds, Jeff Wimberley lost by major decision to Dan Vallimont, 15-2; at 157, Tony Greathouse fell to Bubba Jenkins, 13-10; and at 165, Rex Kendle lost to Dave Rella, 10-7.The Spartans return to action for their last home dual of the season Friday, Feb. 23 to take on No. 14 Oklahoma at 7 p.m. in Jenison Field House.  MATCH RESULTSPenn State, Michigan State (Attendance: 494)174: No. 5 James Yonushonis (PSU) dec. Greg Goidosik (MSU), 3-0; PSU leads, 3-0184: No. 10 Joe Williams (MSU) dec. Philip Bomberger (PSU), 10-6; Tied, 3-3197: No. 1 Phil Davis (PSU) pinned Nick Palmieri (MSU), 4:04; PSU leads, 9-3HWT: No. 3 Aaron Anspach (PSU) major dec. Alan O’Donnell, 20-7; PSU leads, 13-3125: No. 7 Franklin Gomez (MSU) dec. No. 10 Mark McKnight, 7-1; PSU leads, 13-6133: No. 11 Jake Strayer (PSU) major dec. Clint Frutiger (MSU), 11-1; PSU leads, 17-6141: No. 2 Nick Simmons (MSU) pinned Bryan Heller (PSU), 2:41; PSU leads, 17-12149: Dan Vallimont (PSU) major dec. Jeff Wimberley (MSU), 15-2; PSU leads, 21-12157: Bubba Jenkins (PSU) dec. Tony Greathouse (MSU), 13-10; PSU leads, 24-12165: Dave Rella (PSU) dec. Rex Kendle (MSU), 10-7; PSU wins, 27-12Props to Ben Phlegar MSU SID.