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

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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.

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McCullers Jr. had nine strikeouts over four

McCullers Jr. looks sharp in tune-up before Rangers overpower Houston's bullpen

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite watching their chance to clinch their playoff spot on the field slip away in the walk-off loss on Friday, the Astros benefited from a loss by the Angels later in the night, securing their playoff berth. That meant they could play conservatively in the final two games of the season against the Rangers in Arlington. Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's matchup:

Final Score: Rangers 6, Astros 1.

Record: 29-30, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jimmy Herget (1-0, 3.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3, 6.75 ERA).

McCullers Jr. looks playoff-ready 

With nothing substantial to play for, the Astros did not expect to ask Lance McCullers Jr. to go deep into Saturday's game, instead giving him a few innings for a tune-up before assuming whatever role he would play in the post-season. He looked impressive, a promising sign after his injury stint and struggles on the road at points this season.

He finished four innings, during which he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts while giving up no runs on just two hits, both singles, and two walks. His final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 HR, 61 P.

Both teams trade runs as  they go to their bullpens

Meanwhile, neither team was getting much going at the plate in the early goings, keeping it a scoreless game through the first five. Brandon Bielak took over for McCullers Jr. starting in the fifth but would allow the first run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as the Rangers would get three singles to take a 1-0 lead.

After Kyle Gibson held the Astros at bay for six innings, Houston would get on the board against Texas' bullpen, getting a leadoff double by Aledmyz Diaz in the top of the seventh. Diaz moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a sac fly by Jack Mayfield, making it 1-1.

Rangers blow it open in the seventh

The tie didn't last long, as Bielak would put two on base in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a three-run homer to make it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Andre Scrubb was next out of Houston's bullpen and allowed a solo home run on his first pitch. Scrubb would complete the inning, but not before allowing another run on three singles to push Texas' lead to 6-1.

Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Houston would not make the unlikely comeback in the top of the ninth, with the Rangers taking the game 6-1.

Up Next: The last game of the Astros' 2020 regular season will be Sunday at 2:05 PM Central, as are most other games on the MLB slate on the league's final regular-season day. Houston's starter is TBD as they will continue to preserve their arms for the best-of-three first round that starts on Tuesday, while Texas will send Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.08 ERA) to the mound.

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