Penn State back on mat

Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson answers questions at a 2016 news conference in New York.

Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson claimed career win No. 200 on Sunday as the Nittany Lions defeated second-ranked Michigan, 18-13, in Ann Arbor.

Sanderson joined Penn State as coach in April 2009. He’s since guided Nittany Lions wrestlers to eight NCAA championships and six Big Ten championships. Fifty-eight Penn State wrestlers have been named All-Americans under his tutelage.

Penn State is off to a 4-0 start this season, and is ranked No. 2 in InterMat’s latest wrestling rankings.

The Nittany Lions went 12-2 last season, and seven wrestlers were slated to wrestle in the NCAA Championship before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered college athletics around the country.

Penn State has earned wins this season against Indiana, No. 13 Northwestern, Wisconsin and now-No. 3 Michigan.

The Nittany Lions visit No. 12 Ohio State on Friday.

Running out of chances

Penn State’s men’s basketball team is running out of chances to make its case for the NCAA Tournament.

The Nittany Lions lost games against Michigan State and Nebraska last week, dropping three of their last four games.

The losses to the Spartans and the Cornhuskers were by a combined three points. Nebraska’s weekend win snapped a 26-game conference losing streak that dated back to January 2020.

The Nittany Lions rank 13th out of 14 Big Ten teams in scoring defense, as they’ve allowed 72.7 points per game to opponents. Penn State’s offense, meanwhile, averages 72.5 points per game, which ranks seventh in the league.

Penn State’s remaining regular-season schedule won’t get any easier. The Nittany Lions host No. 4 Ohio State on Thursday before visiting No. 11 Iowa on Sunday. Penn State hosts Purdue (Feb. 26) and Minnesota (March 3) before concluding the regular season on March 7 at Maryland.

Nittany Lions dip below .500

After a four-game win streak, Penn State’s women’s basketball program has lost its last two contests against No. 14 Indiana and Michigan State.

Penn State (8-9, 5-8 Big Ten) can make up ground this week with contests against Iowa on Thursday and Nebraska on Sunday. The Nittany Lions defeated Nebraska, 85-74, on Feb. 4. They close out the regular season with games against Rutgers (Feb. 28) and No. 9 Maryland (March 5).

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