Junior forward Fabian White Jr. posted 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a home victory win over in-state enemy SMU.
Cougars take home victory over SMU Mustangs
After a disappointing defeat to Tulsa on Saturday, the Houston Cougars bounced back with a 71-62 victory over their in-state foe, SMU Mustangs, Wednesday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the win, the Cougars have now won seven of their last eight games while improving to 3-1 in conference play.
It was another impressive performance for big man, Fabian White Jr, as the junior forward registered his third double-double of the season with 17 points (6-12 FG, 5-5 FT) and 10 rebounds in the win. One week after averaging 22.5 points and taking home American Athletic Player of the Week honors, freshman guard, Caleb Mills scored 15 points (5-13 FG, 4-5 FT) in 14 minutes of play off the bench.
"Like coach always says, great performances starts in practice," White said after the win. "Having good practices translate to the game, and that's what I've been having so far this week. As long as I can continue having good practices, I should always play this good."
Following a fastbreak basket scored by sophomore guard Quentin Grimes, the Cougars closed out the first half on a 13-3 run to take full advantage of the game. The Mustangs missed 13 of their final 15 shots in the first period, as Houston capitalized on the Mustangs' mishaps to take a 31-20 lead into the halftime break.
Although the Mustangs went on a second-half surge, the Cougars never relinquished their lead. SMU cut the Cougars' double-digit lead down to four midway through the period before Houston took off on a 14-5 run. The Cougars play on the glass played a tremendous part in their win, as Houston pulled down 15 offensive rebounds which converted to 11 second-chance points.
"We had a lot more heart and desperation this game than last game," White said. "As long as we keep progressing and having that desperation, we should be fine."
In the loss, Houston native Kendric Davis scored a game-high 19 points, while Feron Hunt added in 14 points and two steals for the Mustangs.
Following the win, the Cougars will travel to Wichita to take on the 15-2, 3-1 Wichita State Shockers, Saturday night, inside the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.