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Nittany Lion of the Week - Brad Pataky

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Penn State senior wrestler Brad Pataky completed the bakers hat trick (4-0) on the mat this weekend at the 2011 Virginia Duals earning this week's Nittany Lion of the Week.

Pataky, a 5-3, 125 pounder from Clearfield, PA set the table all weekend for Cael Sanderson's #2 ranked Nittany Lions.  Pataky was the first man up during all four of Penn State's Duals, and he did not disappoint.

First on the slate was VMI's Jonathan Pope, who did his best weighted dummy impression.  Pataky scored a 21-4 major decision setting the tone for Penn State's crushing 42-3 beat down.

Not to be outdone, Pataky's next opponent, Bijan Banks from Edinboro University was pinned in 1:36 seconds into the very first round.  Brad once again set the tone for the Nittany Lions, who followed up his pin with five straight majors en route to a 37-12 victory.

#23 Kent State would prove to be no match for Pataky and the Nittany Lions.  His opponent, tenth ranked Nick Bedelyon, put up a better fight than Edinoboro's Banks, but in the end it didn't matter.  Bedelyon was pinned 4 minutes into the very first round (after riding Pataky for over two minutes).  Bedelyon was by far the best grappler Pataky faced during the duals, and he proved to be no match for the pint-sized Nittany Lion.  As a team, Penn State came out on top 27-15.  If you are sensing a theme here, congratulations, you've earned $5 BSD bucks.

To cap off his 4-0 weekend, Pataky's final test came against #15 Michigan's Sean Boyle.  One week earlier, Boyle defeated Pataky 11-3 at the Southern Scuffle.  What a difference a week makes.  Sanderson obviously had Pataky ready this time around as the lead off man won 8-2 and gave the Nittany Lions an early 3-0 lead.  Penn State would go on to defeat their conference rival 24-12, winning the Virginia Duals in the process.  This was Penn State's first Virginia Duals title since 1991. 

Don't look now, but Sanderson's boys are still undefeated (11-0, 1-0 Big Ten) and look to extend that streak against #20 Pittsburgh at Rec Hall on Friday, January 21st.

Honorable Mention:

Jeff Brooks (Men's Basketball) - 17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks in an upset win against #18 Michigan State and 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks in a loss to #10 Purdue.

Casimer Loxsom (Track and Field) - set school and facility records in the 500-meters at the Penn State Relays