Filip Rebraca shines on the boards in second Hawkeye win of season

The senior transfer from North Dakota played an important role in Iowa’s win over Kansas City.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa forwards Keegan Murray and Filip Rebraca fight for a rebound during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Slippery Rock at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. The Hawkeyes out rebounded Slippery Rock 56-34. The Hawkeyes beat The Pride of the Rock 99-47.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Senior forward Filip Rebraca shined for the Hawkeyes, posting nine points and 13 rebounds, in Iowa’s 89-57 win over Kansas City on Friday.

“I was really pleased with the way Filip rebounded,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said.

After a strong start by Iowa, Kansas City got back into the game late in the first half, brining the score to within four points. Iowa managed to regain control and blew out the Kangaroos by 32 points.  A big part of Iowa’s overall success was Rebraca, whose work on the glass made things easy for Iowa. The Serbian made his presence known on the interior. 

With the loss of Luka Garza on the interior, the Hawkeyes will need players to step up and secure loose basketballs. Rebraca showed he can be that player against Kansas City, an encouraging sign for his teammates. 

“He’s a tough defender and can do all the dirty work for us,” sophomore forward Keegan Murray said. “Even though he may be an undersized post, he works like he’s a seven-footer.”

On the offensive end, Rebraca was efficient. He shot 4-of-5 from the field and worked the ball nicely on the interior with a pair of tough finishes. Rebraca had a pair of takeaways, including a big swat late in the first quarter to give Iowa more momentum. 

After playing in the Summit League last season, Rebraca had seen plenty of Kansas City’s star player Josiah Allick. The two battled twice last season and split the individual battles. In Friday’s game, Rebraca came out on top. Allick was held to just four points on the night and shot just 25 percent from the floor. Allick committed four fouls in the game and did not see much second half action as a result. 

The battle was a fun one for Rebraca, who has a lot of respect for Allick as a player and enjoyed going up against Allick once again. 

“Of course I know what he does, but it was a team effort,” Rebraca said. “I tried to limit his touches and was pressed up on him, denying him far out from three.”

As a whole, the Iowa defensive unit is starting off the season strong. Defense was one of the team’s weak points last season, but has not been so far this season. The Kangaroos were held to just 41 percent shooting from the floor and committed 17 turnovers.

Rebraca was not the only one to excel for the Hawkeyes tonight. Keegan Murray had another great game and got over a slow start to finish with 25 points and four rebounds, as well as four takeaways. 

Patrick McCaffery had a solid game offensively , while Jordan Bohannon moved just one 3-pointer away from the Big Ten men’s record with another three 3-pointers. 

Iowa moves to 2-0 on the year now and faces North Carolina Central on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

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