Rebraca’s career night not enough at Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (UND Athletics) – Despite a career night from Filip Rebraca, the University of North Dakota men’s basketball team fell, 79-70, at Milwaukee on Tuesday evening from UWM Panther Arena.

The Serbian tallied his best game as a Fighting Hawk (1-3), scoring a career-high 24 points on 8-of-9 from the field while adding 10 rebounds and a Division I-record eight blocks to post his Summit League-leading third double-double of the season in just four games. Rebraca’s eight rejections are the most in a game since at least 2008 and just two shy of the program record set by Dan Clausen, who had 10 against Augustana on Jan. 23, 1982.

Kienan Walter had a strong evening for the visitors, reaching double figures for the second straight game with 14 points. The senior knocked down 5-of-7 from the field, including three of his four tries from distance, but was limited to just 21 minutes of action due to foul trouble.

Marlon Stewart was the third UND player to tally at least 10 points, scoring 14, adding four rebounds, and three assists. It was a unique was for the senior to reach double figures for the 11th straight game, making only two shots from the field but sinking 10-of-14 from the charity stripes. The 10 makes are the most by a UND player since he made 13 against North Dakota State on Dec. 9, 2017.

De’Sean Allen-Eikens struggled from the field on Tuesday evening, hitting only five of his 14 attempts, but the freshman still managed to score 10 points and add a game-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of his collegiate career. He and Rebraca become the first players since Carson Shanks and Jaron Nash at Southern Utah on Feb. 5, 2015 to each record double-doubles in the same game.

For the second straight game, turnovers seemed to be the difference for North Dakota. The visitors coughed it up 20 times, leading to 25 Milwaukee points and 11 extra shot attempts from the field. Both teams shot 43% from the field, but the Panthers were able to connect on eight of their 21 tries from three, while UND was held to just 5-of-21 from distance.

Darius Roy and Illinois transfer Te’Jon Lucas provided the offense in the win for the Panthers, scoring 21 and 15, respectively, with Roy doing most of his damage from beyond-the-arc with four triples on eight attempts.

North Dakota fell behind early, surrendering the game’s first six points, and not drawing the game back to even until right after the stanza’s first media timeout when Rebraca completed the three-point play to knot the contest at 11.

The Panthers were able to restore their lead and keep it until just past the midway portion of the half when an Aanen Moody triple followed by an Allen-Eiken’s layup game the Fighting Hawks the 29-28 lead with just under six minutes to play in the opening period.

With the game knotted at 36 with 1:03 to play in the opening half, the UND defense allowed a three from Courtney Brown Jr. and a layup from Lucas to quickly surrender five points and head into the locker room trailing, 41-36, at the break.

Out of halftime, Milwaukee took control by scoring 11 of the second half’s first 17 points to build its largest lead of the game at the time, 52-42, with 12:28 to go. The game took a chippy turn soon after, as Stewart, Rebraca, Walter, and Milwaukee’s Roy all earning technical fouls in the period.

The advantage reached as high as 15, but the Fighting Hawks kept battling. Free throws allowed UND to cut the deficit to single digits five times in the final four minutes, but could not get any closer than seven as Milwaukee held on for the win.

North Dakota will enjoy a few days off before returning to action against rival Minnesota on Sunday night at 6 p.m. from Williams Arena. Fans can watch the game on Big Ten Network or tune into the Home of Economy Radio Network.