It has been a rough couple of months for Maryland wrestling, losers of five straight coming into Friday’s contest. It has been a victim of injuries and inconsistency from some early season contributors.
Unfortunately for the Terps, after a 29-10 loss to No. 23 Navy, they still only have one constant: Youssif Hemida.
Hemida, ranked No. 6 in the heavyweight division, continued his stellar form, scoring a dominant 12-4 major decision in the final bout of the night. The victory for Hemida improved his tally to 18-1 on the season.
Despite the lopsided score, the match began positively for the Terps.
At 125 lbs., redshirt freshman Brandon Cray lead off the night with a tight 10-9 victory. After trailing 7-5 entering the third period, Cray took a 9-7 advantage with a pair of takedowns. Tied at nine with 23 seconds remaining, he escaped to give the Terps a 3-0 lead out of the gate.
Maryland dropped the next two bouts, but at 149 lbs., redshirt junior Brian Bannister put together a great performance. Bannister lead 4-3 heading into the third period, and after allowing an escape the match went to sudden victory knotted at four.
Bannister earned a clutch knockdown for the win and his first duel win of the season. At this point, the Terps trailed just 7-6.
Despite the competitive start, the Terps were unable to build off of their early momentum, and dropped five straight weight classes before Hemida’s victory.
The Terps will hope to end their skid on the road against Harvard Sunday at noon.