A surprise miss for South Dakota and a scrappy play for UND results in another Fighting Hawks victory in Sioux Falls

Instead, Seybian Sims' hustle play to result in a late go-ahead free throw and the overall play of UND post Filip Rebraca gave the Fighting Hawks a 75-71 win at the Sanford Pentagon.

UND's Filip Rebraca drives against the defense of Niola Zizic of South Dakota during the Fighting Hawks' 75-71 win on Thursday at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Photo by Dave Eggen, Inertia.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- UND and South Dakota met again Thursday in the same place that nine months earlier Marlon Stewart hit a 17-footer with 10 seconds left to stun the Coyotes in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament.

This time, the Coyotes had a chance to return the favor. But the stunner this time was Coyotes star Stanley Umude not making one of his easiest looks of the night to win the game.

Instead, Seybian Sims' hustle play to result in a late go-ahead free throw and the overall play of UND post Filip Rebraca gave the Fighting Hawks a 75-71 win in the CU Mortgage Direct Dakota Showcase at the Sanford Pentagon.

In a game that sometimes felt like a 1-on-1 showdown between two of the league's best in Umude and Rebraca, Umude finished with 30 points on 12-for-25 shooting and 5-for-9 shooting from the 3-point line, while Rebraca ended with 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting.

"Stanley had a special game, and he's a really, really good player," said UND coach Paul Sather, whose team improved to 1-3. "I think both teams would say we had a few shots like that throughout the game that we just didn't finish and it happens over the course of the game. It was good for us, too, to rebound and then make free throws."


With the game tied at 70 with a minute left, Sims' work on the offensive glass gave the Fighting Hawks the lead.

With about 43 seconds to go, Rebraca missed a jumper that Sims tracked down for a new shot clock. With 29 seconds left, UND's Brady Danielson missed a 3-pointer and Sims was fouled pulling in the rebound.

Sims, a 6-foot-7 junior college transfer from Kirkwood Community College, made the second of two free throws for a 71-70 edge.

"He's an energy guy," Sather said. "I just love how he's practicing. This is such a new thing for him coming from junior college. A lot of times it takes a good semester to kind of get those junior college guys really assimilated and we're throwing him right into the fire, so I'm really proud of Seybian."

South Dakota tried to hold for the last shot. Point guard A.J. Plutzuweit held the ball deep in the backcourt until about 12 seconds to go. He fed Umude in the post, matched up on Rebraca. Umude ripped through to the middle of the court where his bunny just rimmed out with about seven seconds to play.

With 5.1 seconds to go, Rebraca hit both resulting free throws for a 73-70 lead.


With a three-point lead, UND's Tyree Ihenacho played physical defense on Plitzuweit as the Hawks were comfortable fouling to put the Yotes on the line for two.

Plitzuweit made the first free throw and shot hard on the second to try to rebound a miss but UND post Mitchell Sueker grabbed the rebound to seal the win.

"That's how the game goes sometimes," South Dakota coach Todd Lee said. "There's no one more upset than Stan. He's got tears in his eyes in the locker room. You know, he scores 30 points but that's what you're going to remember. That's what he'll remember when he lays down tonight. It's unfortunate because you can't fault his effort. Sometimes the ball doesn't go in."

Three Hawks joined Rebraca in double figures. Ihenacho continued his hot start with 12 points and nine rebounds. Sueker added 11 points and six rebounds, while Caleb Nero had 10 points.

UND has yet to play at full strength, as De'Sean Allen-Eikens missed his third-straight game with an ankle injury. He was on the sidelines in street clothes.

Umude had less help. Xavier Fuller, in his first start for the Yotes, added 15 points. No one else had more than six points.

Plitzuweit, who entered the game averaging 15.7 points per game, was held to five points on 2-for-9 shooting. He was often matched up with Ihenacho, a more physical defender for the smaller Plitzuweit.

The two evenly matched teams were tight most of the way. South Dakota took a first-half lead of as many as seven before the Hawks closed the first half on a 15-4 run for a 35-29 halftime lead.


UND led by as many as 10 in the first half before the Yotes closed the gap for much of the final 10 minutes.

South Dakota posts Tasos Camateros and Brady Heiman both fouled out trying to guard Rebraca.

"They threw it in to No. 12," Lee said of Rebraca. "He's a very good player. We tried to mix up our coverages in the first half but they made some threes. We've got to be able to guard the post and that was a point of emphasis all week. Rebraca is one of the best post players in the league."

UND now plays South Dakota State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and North Dakota State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

UND 75, South Dakota 71

Halftime: UND 35, South Dakota 29

UND -- Filip Rebraca 10-15 5-6 26, Tyree Ihenacho 5-8 1-3 12, Mitchell Sueker 2-6 7-9 11, Caleb Nero 4-9 2-2 10, Seybian Sims 2-7 3-4 8, Ethan Igbanugo 2-4 0-1 5, Brady Danielson 1-3 0-0 3, Gertautas Urbonavicius 0-1 0-0 0, Nate Shockey 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-54 18-25 75

South Dakota -- Stanley Umude 12-25 1-2 30, Xavier Fuller 6-11 1-1 15, AJ Plitzuweit 2-9 1-2 5, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 1-3 1-2 4, Brady Heiman 2-4 0-0 4, Ty Chisom 2-4 2-3 6, Tasos Kamateros 2-4 1-2 5, Mason Archambault 1-2 0-0 2, Boogie Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Nikola Zizic 0-0 0-1 0, Kanon Koster 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 7-13 71

Three-pointers -- UND 5-19 (Rebraca 1-2, Ihenacho 1-3, Sueker 0-2, Nero 0-2, Sims 1-5, Igbanugo 1-2, Danielson 1-3), South Dakota 8-21 (Umude 5-9, Fuller 2-5, Plitzuweit 0-2, Perrott-Hunt 1-3, Chisom 0-1, Archambault 0-1); Rebounds -- UND 37 (Rebraca 6, Ihenacho 9, Sueker 6, Nero 2, Sims 4, Igbanugo 4, Danielson 1, Urbonavicius 1, Shockey 1, TEAM 3), South Dakota 30 (Umude 5, Fuller 2, Plitzuweit 1, Perrott-Hunt 4, Heiman 5, Chisom 3, Kamateros 5, Zizic 1, Koster 1, TEAM 3); Assists -- UND 8 (Rebraca 1, Ihenacho 3, Sueker 1, Nero 1, Danielson 1, Urbonavicius 1), South Dakota 18 (Umude 1, Fuller 1, Plitzuweit 8, Perrott-Hunt 3, Chisom 2, Anderson 2, Zizic 1); Total fouls -- UND 17, South Dakota 20; Turnovers -- UND 10, South Dakota 8.


South Dakota's Stanley Umude attempts a jumper in the face of UND defender Filip Rebraca during UND's 75-71 win over the Coyotes in the Dakota Showcase at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Photo by Dave Eggen, Inertia.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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