Jaxon Smith’s technical fall wins have been routine for Maryland wrestling in dual matches this season.

Entering Sunday, Smith was 4-0 with two wins by tech fall. He picked up another tech fall win against Northwestern’s Evan Bates, a key victory that secured the Terps’ 29-15 win over the Wildcats.

The Terps were able to pull away from Northwestern early with strong performances from Braxton Brown, the Miller brothers, and Michael North. They combined for 21 points behind three straight tech fall wins and a fall victory.

The Big Ten victory is Maryland’s first this season and second since the 2015-16 season.

“My freshman year we had maybe 15 to 20 people in the stands, to now, just shows the growth and then Clemson and [company], like what they’ve been doing,” North said. “We’re already starting out with a Big Ten win with our second match in the Big Ten, so that’s huge.”

Brown gets Maryland on the board

The Terps needed positive momentum entering No. 19 Brown’s bout at 133. Maryland (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) was coming off a 38-3 loss to No. 13 Michigan where they had trailed in almost every match, and Northwestern already had a 5-0 lead after a tech fall in Sunday’s opening bout.

Brown, facing Patrick Adams, took it upon himself to get the Terps going. Brown picked up an early takedown and then went to work on the ground, flipping Adams to pick up four near fall points for a 7-0 lead.

[Maryland wrestling blown out by No. 13 Michigan in Big Ten opener, 38-3]

Brown has consistently dominated unranked opponents this season and continued that in the second. He started from the bottom and notched a reversal for a 9-0 lead and later added another takedown.

Starting from the top position in the third period, Brown let Adams escape but immediately secured a double-leg takedown. Brown allowed him back up to try for the tech fall and succeeded, putting Adams back down for an 18-3 victory. His fifth tech fall win of the season to tie Maryland with Northwestern (0-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

No. 32 North picks up pin victory in ranked battle

Maryland wrestling was rolling entering the 157-pound match after three straight technical fall wins and a 15-5 lead. But Northwestern’s highest-ranked wrestler and best chance to get back in the match — No. 13 Trevor Chumbley — was walking to the mat.

Both wrestlers got deep on multiple shots in an action-packed first period, but neither secured a takedown.

Chumbley opened the second with an escape to go up 1-0. North responded by flipping Chumbley to the mat when the Wildcat tried to roll out of the takedown attempt. Chumbley tried to escape but found himself back on the mat after a slam from North. The Northwestern redshirt junior remained there for the rest of the period.

An escape from North and a takedown from Chumbley tied the bout at four. North then escaped, put Chumbley on the mat and rolled on top of him.

[Four Maryland wrestlers secure top-3 finishes at F&M Lehman Open]

The ref gave Chumbley every chance to get out, but North’s top pressure was too much. He kept Chumbley’s shoulders on the mat long enough for his first win over a ranked opponent this season.

The win gave Maryland a 21-5 lead heading into intermission and continued North’s recent strong stretch — he’s now 9-2 in his last eleven appearances.

Dominic Solis wins in return to mat

Solis, who’s been out since Nov. 20, returned for Maryland on Sunday.

His time away from the mat showed early on against David Ferrante. Solis was quickly taken down and then held down for the rest of the first period.

But then, the Terps captain found his rhythm. He started on top and held Ferrante down for the whole period to eat into the latter’s riding time advantage.

In the third, Solis escaped quickly to cut Ferrante’s lead to two then immediately secured a single-leg takedown with a trip for a 4-3 lead. He then tried to flip Ferrante onto his back, picking up two nearfall points in the process before Ferrante got back to his stomach.

Solis held him down for the rest of the third, taking the 6-3 decision win in an impressive comeback effort.

As the Terps continue grinding through a grueling conference schedule, they could use some more strong performances like this from Solis, who made the NCAA Championships in 2022.