Maryland wrestling hung with No. 10 Minnesota at halftime of their Friday match. The Terps trailed 11-6 heading into the intermission period, keeping the score within reach against the Gophers in their arena.
But after the intermission, and similar to the Indiana match, Maryland’s opponent pulled away. The Terps lost every match after intermission, with Jaxon Smith getting the night off at 197 on their way to a 30-6 loss.
The bottom half of Maryland’s lineup continues to struggle in Big Ten play. Outside of Jaxon Smith, Maryland wrestlers from 165-285 only have one win this season in conference, coming from Dominic Solis in Maryland’s dual against Northwestern.
Braxton Brown gets Maryland on the board against ranked matchup
Braxton Brown came to the mat with an opportunity to give the Terps some momentum. Trailing 5-0 after the opening match, Brown was the first to wrestle as part of a stretch of three straight duals between ranked opponents. A win against No. 20 Tyler Wells could help set the tone for the Terps and keep the score close.
Brown started the match on the offensive, pressuring Wells off the opening whistle. Wells stuffed all of Brown’s offensive attempts, but didn’t try to generate his own offense, leading to a stalling call and a 1-0 lead for Brown.
In the second period, Brown started from the top. He kept his position on Wells’ back, flattening him out and threatening nearfall points on multiple occasions. Brown’s heavy pressure and scoring attempts kept Wells on the mat for the whole period, holding his lead at 1-0 and picking up two minutes of riding time.
With both wrestlers starting the final period in neutral, all Brown had to do was hold Wells off to come away with the victory. Wells became the aggressor, knowing that he needed a takedown, but Brown’s defense was too sound to complete a 2-1 decision win.
“Really gritty,” coach Alex Clemsen said when asked about Brown’s performance. “He hasn’t always performed well in some low-scoring type matches. I thought other than the last three seconds of the match, he wrestled really really well.”
Ethen Miller stays hot with another ranked win
Ethen Miller entered Friday with two straight ranked wins in his last two outings. He had the chance to make it three in a row against Minnsota against No. 13 Drew Roberts.
Both wrestlers got deep on shots in the opening period, but excellent defense kept the scoreless tie.
Miller started the second period on the bottom, picking up a quick escape for a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period resembled the first, with neither wrestler able to generate any offense, keeping Miller’s lead at 1-0 as the match headed to the final period.
Roberts started on the bottom and immediately escaped to tie the match at one, but then he became aggressive looking for more. He attempted a deep single-leg shot that Miller was all over, stuffing the attempt and transitioning to Roberts’ back. Roberts tried to roll, but Miller fell on top of him, securing the takedown for a 4-1 lead.
Roberts escaped, but now he needed a takedown with time running out. He shot for another desperation takedown, but Miller was ready. He wrapped around Roberts and brought him to the ground for another takedown, securing a 7-2 decision win behind a massive final period.
“He just looks like himself. He’s just starting to look like Ethen Miller,” Clemsen said. “He trains at a really high level and works every day at a really high level, he lives clean. I think we’re seeing a kid who’s performing to his ability.”