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.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, @UHouston fans Santa brought us a big, heavy 🏆 this year #ForTheCity #GoCoogs https://t.co/N82PvKHOUx— Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾) 1577334484.0
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.