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U wrestlers rally late to edge Penn State

The Gophers wrestling team got key victories from Gordon Bierschenk and Tyler Safratowich to escape with a 20-19 victory Friday over Penn State in State College, Pa.

The No. 10 Gophers (12-4, 2-0 Big Ten) trailed 15-11 with three matches remaining, before Bierschenk pinned Penn State’s J.R. Brown in the 197-pound match to give Minnesota a 17-15 lead. The pin was Bierschenk’s third of the season. Heavyweight Ben Berhow clinched the victory with a 5-3 decision over Stephan Tighe.

Safratowich’s 23-8 victory at 157 pounds gave the Gophers an 11-3 lead, but the No. 16 Nittany Lions (7-7, 0-1-2) won the next three matches to take a 15-11 lead.

Penn State scored two upset victories. Jake Strayer defeated fifth-ranked Jayson Ness 4-3 at 133 pounds, and Brad Patakay beat fifth-ranked Zach Sanders 14-7 at 125.

The Gophers wrestle No. 5 Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus.

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