White’s career night powers UH over Butler in Maui Invitational
Senior forward Fabian White’s career-high 21 points powered Houston past Butler, 70-52, in the opening round of the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas.
White came out on fire, sparking a 17-0 run by the Cougars to open the game.
White, who had three made 3-pointers in his first 114 collegiate games, hit a trio of shots beyond the arc in the first six minutes of the first half. White scored a game-high 15 first half points.
Later in the half, graduate transfer Taze Moore electrified the building, flying through the air for a thunderous two-handed putback dunk after a Marcus Sasser missed 3-pointer.
Butler’s Jair Bolden did everything in his power to keep the game from getting too far out of hand, scoring 14 out of the Bulldogs 20 first half points, including their first 11 points of the game.
Despite Bolden’s efforts, UH took a 41-20 lead into the half.
A sloppy start to the second half highlighted by fouls, turnovers and poor shooting from UH, and Butler began to show signs of life.
The UH lead quickly dwindled down to 12.
White got the Cougars back on track, scoring four straight points followed by a steal and fastbreak layup by sophomore guard Jamal Shead to bring the Cougars’ lead back up to 18.
Butler would not get closer than 14 points for the remainder of the game.
Sophomore guard Tramon Mark, who missed the Cougars’ first three games with a left shoulder injury, made his season debut against the Bulldogs. Mark scored five points in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Cougars will take on Wisconsin on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in one of the tournament’s two semifinal games.