Freshman Caleb Mills and junior Fabian White each scored 19 points Wednesday as Houston wiped out a 14-point, first-half deficit to beat No. 21 Washington 75-71 in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
Quentin Grimes added 14 for the Cougars (10-3), including six straight free throws in the final 24 seconds that wrapped up the win. Houston went 17 of 18 at the foul line and also turned 16 offensive rebounds into 17 points, outboarding the Huskies 37-31.
Freshman Isaiah Stewart starred for Washington (10-3) with a game-high 25 points, going 8 of 13 from the field. Nahziah Carter scored 15, Quade Green added 11 points and freshman Jaden McDaniels chipped in 10 before fouling out late.
Justin Gorham’s layup with 5:02 left in the game put the Cougars ahead for good at 61-60. Gorham then canned a critical 3-pointer with 3:33 remaining to finish a 7-0 spurt that made it 66-60.
Stewart tried to bring the Huskies back, converting a three-point play and then a short jumper in the lane to pull Washington within 69-67 with 28.4 seconds on the clock. However, Grimes sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Washington controlled the game’s first 14 minutes, using its length to affect Houston’s offense and going inside consistently to earn free-throw attempts. The Huskies went 10 of 13 at the stripe as compared to the Cougars’ 4 of 4 before halftime.
Washington grabbed the lead about 2 1/2 minutes into the game and steadily added to it until extending it to double figures for the first time. Stewart’s two free throws with 7:28 left in the first half made it 32-21 Huskies.
The margin reached 35-21 when Stewart sank a foul shot at the 6:01 mark, but Houston made a nice run to end the half. Gorham’s jumper with 33 seconds remaining capped a 10-1 spurt that enabled the Cougars to go into intermission trailing just 36-31.
—Field Level Media