Badgers upend No.8 Rutgers for first B1G win

A win from Johnny Jimenez in the final match of the night lifted the Wisconsin wrestling team to an 18-15 win over No.8 Rutgers on Friday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

With the team score knotted at 15 apiece, Jimenez topped N0.19 Sean McCabe 7-4 in the 125-pound bout to give the Badgers (2-5, 1-4) their first Big Ten conference win of the season.

Jimenez, a sophomore, scored an early takedown to carry a 2-0 lead into the second period.

That’s when McCabe tied things up with a reversal. Jimenez then escaped with 17 seconds remaining in the frame to regain a 3-2 lead.

Starting the third period on bottom, Jimenez tallied another escape followed by a takedown to go up 6-2. A stalling call on Jimenez and an escape by McCabe cut the deficit to McCabe, but Jimenez was able to hang on and, ultimately, won by three thanks to an additional point by virtue of riding time advantage.

In total, Wisconsin won five on the night’s 10 bouts, the most wins for UW in a conference dual this year.

Seventh-ranked Ryan Taylor jump-started the Badgers by pinning No.18 Anthony Giraldo in the opening match of the night at 133 pounds. Taylor’s fall came with just six seconds remaining in the bout.

Rutgers (13-4, 3-3) cut its early deficit in half as No.4 Anthony Ashnault topped Gabe Grahek 7-2 at 141 pounds.

Andrew Crone pushed Wisconsin’s edge back to six with a 5-4 decision over Tyson Dippery.

At 157, TJ Ruschell took No.20 Richie Lewis to the brink, but was unable to pull the upset.

Trailing 3-1 heading into the third period, Ruschell scored a quick escape to draw within one. During a late scramble, it appeared Ruschell had scored the winning takedown just before time expired, but no points were rewarded. The sequence was reviewed and the call on the mat stood.

Isaac Jordan improved to 17-0 on the season by blanking fifth-ranked Anthony Perrotti 4-0 at 165 pounds. That gave the Badgers a 12-6 advantage at intermission.

Following in the break, Ricky Robertson helped the Badgers pick up where they left off, upending No.20 Phil Bakuckas 4-3.

The Scarlet Knights won the next three bouts to tie the score at 15-15, setting up the heroics of Jimenez.

Rutgers held a 10-6 advantage in total takedowns, marking the fifth time in as many conference matches the Badgers were on the short end of that stat.

Wisconsin’s victory snapped a five-match losing streak that dates back to Nov.12. It was the first conference triumph for Wisconsin since the Badgers topped Rutgers on Feb.6 of last year.

With the win, UW handed the Scarlet Knights their first home loss of the season. The Badgers are now 3-0 against Rutgers all-time.

Wisconsin returns home to host No.16 Minnesota (8-7, 4-3) at the UW Field House on Sunday. Start time is slated for noon.

Wisconsin 18, No.8 Rutgers 15 

133: No.7 Ryan Taylor (WIS) p. No.18 Anthony Giraldo, 6:54

141: No.4 Anthony Ashnault (R) dec. Gabe Grahek, 7-2

149: Andrew Crone (WIS) dec. Tyson Dippery, 5-4

157: No.20 Richie Lewis (R) dec. TJ Ruschell, 3-2

165: No.3 Isaac Jordan (WIS) dec. No.5 Anthony Perrotti, 4-0

174: Ricky Robertson (WIS) dec. No.20 Phil Bakuckas, 4-3.

184: No.19 Nick Garvina (R) dec. Ryan Christensen, 7-2

197: Hayden Hrymack (R) dec. Eric Peissig, 7-4

HWT: No.15 Billy Smith (R) dec. Brock Horwath, 4-2

125: Johnny Jimenez (WIS) dec. No.19 Sean McCabe, 7-4