Caleb Mills and Fabian White Jr. lead the Houston Cougars with a win to close out the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Cougars win Hawaiian Classic with victory over Huskies
It was a holly jolly Christmas for the Houston Cougars as they closed the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic with a 75-71 victory over the No. 21 Washington Huskies Wednesday night inside the Stan Sheriff Center in Hawaii. With the win, the Cougars closed the mid-season tournament as champions while improving to 10-3 on the season.
After a solid performance in their previous game against Georgia Tech, freshman guard Caleb Mills and junior forward Fabian White Jr. scored 19 points apiece to help lead a comeback victory for the Cougars. White earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award while shooting 7-for-13 (53%) from the field.
Down 36-31 at the half, Houston trailed by as many as 14 points early in the first period. Behind a 12-point second-half surge by White, the Cougars outscored the Huskies 44-35 in the final 24 minutes en route to their fourth straight victory.
While playing from behind most of the game, the Cougars' offensive woes played the most significant part in their early struggles against the Huskies. Houston only connected on 37.3% of their shots while Washington shot 46.2% from the floor. Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes ended the night with an all-around performance of 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in the win.
In the loss, Isaiah Stewart led the Huskies in scoring with a game-high 25 points (8-for-13 FG, 9-11 FT) to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Following the win, the Cougars will open their American Athletic Conference play with a showdown against UCF on Friday, Jan. 3, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. Tip-off is slated for 6 P.M. CT.