COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland wrestling team (4-8, 0-6 B1G) will welcome No. 1 Penn State (7-0, 4-0 B1G) to College Park for a conference dual on Sunday afternoon. The match will be on the XFINITY Center main floor and is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. It will be streamed live on BTN2Go.
Due to the anticipated attendance, the meet will be held inside the Xfinity Center main arena. The meet will begin at 4pm and gates will open at 3pm. The Xfinity Center Ticket Office located at the top of the grand staircase at Gate A (South Plaza Gate), will be open at 2:30pm. Fans planning to attend are encouraged to get their tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at umterps.com, or over the phone at 301-314-7070. For additional information, please click here.
LAST TIME OUT
Maryland split a doubleheader against Ivy League foes Harvard and Brown. The Terps fell to the Crimson 22-21, but followed it with a victory over the Bears by a score of 19-16.
The Terps were paced by the efforts of Brandon Cray, Alfred Bannister and Youssif Hemida. All three grapplers posted 2-0 records on the day, guiding Maryland to its fourth and fifth victories of the season. Maryland's five wins ties the most wins for a Maryland team since joining the Big Ten.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State is the two-time defending NCAA Champions. The Nittany Lions boast a powerful lineup that features eight returning starters from last season. Seven of those starters were 2017 NCAA Championship qualifiers who led the Nittany Lions to their seventh national title in program history.
The Nittany Lions have four wrestlers currently ranked No. 1 in the latest InterMat Wrestle rankings: Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph and Bo Nickal. All four won individual NCAA titles at the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Mark Hall is also a returning NCAA Champion for the Nittany Lions. He currently is ranked No. 2 at 174 by InterMat Wrestle.
Penn State has dominated its dual opponents this season, outscoring them 261-48. Their smallest margin of victory was four points in a 23-19 win over Lehigh. Penn State has also won two open championships this season. They won the Keystone Classic and followed it with a first place finish at the Southern Scuffle.
THE HEMIDA EFFECT
Junior heavyweight Youssif Hemida is in the midst of the most successful season of his career, most recently picking up a pair of dual wins against Harvard and Brown. He now leads the team with 11 dual wins.
Hemida's season has included five wins over ranked opponents, including a win over No. 9 Billy Miller of Edinboro on his way to a third place finish at the 55th Midlands Championships in December. He has 20 wins on the season, good for second-most on Maryland's roster.
Hemida's success this season also earned him Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 21. He won the award after defeating No. 12 Nathan Butler in Maryland's win over Stanford, and after winning the Road Runner Open.
SETTING THE TABLE
Brandon Cray has been an integral part in Maryland's five wins this season. The redshirt freshman has posted a 5-0 record in Maryland's five wins and has given Maryland a lead to begin each of their dual victories.
BIG BABY J
Alfred "Baby J" Bannister has had a big redshirt junior season for Maryland. The Maryland-native has won three-consecutive matches and has a team-high eight wins by fall.
Bannister has also won two open tournament titles, picking up wins at the Mat Town Open and the Wilkes Open. He also had a runner-up finish at the Princeton Open.
WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Hemida became the first-ever Maryland wrestler to earn the distinction after his upset win over No. 12 Nathan Butler of Stanford and his Road Runner Open title.
Gerish earned the honor after winning the 165-pound bracket at the Cleveland State Open. The New Jersey-native posted a 5-0 record with four wins coming by way of fall.
Maryland will conclude its B1G road slate with a dual at Illinois on Jan. 28. The match will begin at 2 p.m. and will be streamed on BTN2Go.com