Christian Colucci helped Rutgers secure a big win by losing small.
The heavyweight held Wisconsin’s No. 9-ranked Trent Hillger to a decision win in the final bout to allow the No. 24 Scarlet Knights to edge the No. 10 Badgers, 17-16, on match points criteria on Friday night at the RAC in Piscataway.
Rutgers outpointed Wisconsin, 56-50. The teams split bouts, 5-5.
Turning point: When Rutgers 197-pounder Matt Correnti scored a takedown and two backs in the third period to beat Beau Breske, 7-4. His win gave Rutgers a 16-13 lead heading into the heavyweight bout and ensured the Scarlet Knights would win on match points criteria if the dual meet finished tied at 16.
Gravina upset: Rutgers’ No. 12-ranked Nick Gravina took injury time following a scramble with Wisconsin’s unranked Mason Reinhardt late in the third period of a 1-1 bout. After the injury time, Gravina had to take top on Reinhardt’s request with four seconds left. Reinhardt then escaped as time expired for a 2-1 win and tie the match at 13 with two bouts to go.
Suriano’s pre-Fix tune-up: No. 3 Nick Suriano cruised into Sunday’s 133-pound showdown with No. 4 Daton Fix by majoring Wisconsin’s Jens Lantz, 14-5. Some potential back points that would have given Suriano a chance at a technical fall were not called, and Lantz acquitted himself well by minimizing the damage. After the bout, a fired-up Suriano held up two fingers while getting his hand raised and yelled out “Two days!” to the crowd. He’s ready for Fix.
Christensen out: Wisconsin did not weigh in Ryan Christensen, who is ranked No. 10 at 174 pounds. The Badger suffered an injury at the Midlands Championships in late December.
Missed opportunities: Wisconsin left a team point on the board in the night’s first bout when No. 15-ranked Connor Brown was curiously conservative in the third period, allowing Shane Metzler and Rutgers to hold things to a decision at 125 pounds. Then at 149, No. 2 Anthony Ashnault yielded a last-second takedown to Cole Martin and blew his chance at a major for Rutgers.
Next up: The Scarlet Knights will host No. 3 Oklahoma State on Sunday at the RAC. The dual meet is scheduled for a 1 p.m. Eastern start and will be streamed on BTNPlus and FloWrestling.
RUTGERS 17, WISCONSIN 16:
125: No. 15 Connor Brown (W) dec. Shane Metzler, 8-2.
133: No. 3 Nick Suriano (R) md. Jens Lantz, 14-5.
141: Tristan Moran (W) dec. Peter Lipari, 8-7.
149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault (R) dec. Cole Martin, 12-6.
157: No. 15 John VanBrill (R) dec. Devin Bahr, 6-0.
165: No. 3 Evan Wick (W) md. Anthony Olivieri, 14-4.
174: Joe Grello (R) dec. Patrick Spray, 5-0.
184: Mason Reinhardt (W) dec. No. 12 Nick Gravina, 2-1.
197: Matt Correnti (R) dec. Beau Breske, 7-4.
HWT: No. 9 Trent Hillger (W) dec. Christian Colucci,
Records: Rutgers 7-2, 1-1; Wisconsin 6-2, 1-2.