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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Men's Basketball

White shines versus SMU with double-double, credits practice


Head coach Kelvin Sampson said Fabian White was Houston's best player in its 71-62 win over SMU. | Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

Head coach Kelvin Sampson said Fabian White was Houston’s best player in its 71-62 win over SMU. | Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

The Cougars bounced back after suffering their first conference loss of the season by defeating the rival Mustangs 71-62 behind an impressive performance from junior forward Fabian White Jr.

“I thought the best player on the floor for us tonight was Fabian,” head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “He’s tough, SMU did a great job of blocking us out… but you know we are going to keep coming… the thing that we preach is percentages… our goal every night is to get half of our missed shots. Fabian’s had that beat into his head since he was a freshman in June.”

Toward the final seconds of the game, the 6-7 forward knocked down a pair of free throws to cap off his 17-point, 10-rebound double-double, which was his second of the season.

For the Atascosita native, the performances that are put out on gamedays begin far away from the bright lights and screams of the fans.

“It starts off in practice really. So, having good practices is what translates into the game, and that’s what I’ve been having this week,” White said. “As long as I keep having good practices and going out and play hard, and rebound as much as I can (White should be good).

White’s 10 rebounds are the most he has had since Dec. 23 against Georgia Tech. His 17 points were the most he had since Christmas Day in the Diamond Head Classic against No. 21 Washington.

For White, the difference between Wednesday’s win and Saturday’s loss comes down to the mentality of the team.

“We have a lot more and desperation in this game than last game,” White said. “As long as we keep progressing and keep having that desperation we should be fine.”

The Cougars will need to keep their sense of desperation against their next opponent as they travel to Wichita State to play the No. 16 Shockers, who are coming off a Wednesday night loss against Temple. Wichita State will be looking to atone for the upset.

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