Braxton Brown ended his match against No. 9 Dylan Shawver as the aggressor, looking for four near fall points that wouldn’t come in a close 9-5 loss. His match resembled that of multiple Terps after him, who all finished their bouts hunting for a late match-deciding sequence that never came.

Brown, Kal Miller, AJ Rodrigues and Dominic Solis all lost razor-close decisions by four points or less, allowing the Scarlet Knights to build an insurmountable lead in an eventual 27-12 loss.

Maryland (4-7, 2-6 Big Ten) got strong performances from Ethen Miller, Jaxon Smith and Seth Nevills, who looked phenomenal in a 4-2 upset win over No. 10 Yaraslau Slavikouski, but they weren’t enough to take the dual. The Terps finish their conference dual slate with a 2-6 record this season, their best mark since joining the Big Ten.

No. 12 Ethen Miller continues to roll with fifth straight win

Miller has been a force for the Terps as of late. He won four straight matches entering Maryland’s dual against Rutgers (11-5, 4-4 Big Ten), limiting his opponents’ offense and overpowering them with powerful takedowns.

[Maryland wrestling has a healthy lineup after battling injuries earlier in the season]

Taking on No. 25 Michael Cetta, Miller went to work immediately. He got deep on a single leg by the edge of the mat, and when Cetta tried to get out of bounds Miller dragged his opponent back in, eventually overpowering him for a takedown and a 3-0 lead.

Cetta started the second period looking for a response. He started to push the pace on Miller, showcasing constant offense that put the Terp on his back foot and led to a stalling warning. Miller was able to keep his distance, keeping Cetta off the board and holding his lead at 3-0.

The third period began with Miller on the bottom, but he quickly escaped for a 4-0 advantage. He immediately reengaged, switching a single leg attempt to a double leg and driving through Cetta to put him on the mat with another takedown. Cetta tried to escape, but his attempts were met with big mat returns from Miller.

With a minute left in the third, Miller went hunting for points, turning Cetta’s back to the mat with a modified cradle for four nearfall points before his opponent escaped with a reversal. Miller then escaped and held Cetta off, preventing him from finding a late takedown to get an impressive 13-3 major decision win.

Miller has now won five straight matches and has kept all five opponents to less than four points.

[Dominic Solis proved his value in Maryland wrestling’s second Big Ten victory]

Jaxon Smith takes care of business

Jaxon Smith has been able to enforce his will on lesser competition throughout this season. He is 7-0 against unranked opponents, scoring bonus points in five out of the seven victories. 

Against Hadyn Packer, it was more of the same for Smith. He proved too fast for Packer early, finding a takedown after about a minute and riding out the rest of the first period. 

Smith started on the top in the second period and went right after Packer after letting him escape. Smith found takedown after takedown, showcasing his speed and power to bring Packer to the mat on five separate occasions in the period for a 18-5 lead.

Smith knew he was in tech fall territory near the end of the match. His quick shot to open the third period brought Packer to the ground one last time and ended the match with a 22-5 tech fall for Smith — his fifth of the season.