The FC men's basketball team got 2018 started on the right foot Wednesday beating Santa Ana College 95-89 in a conference road game.
The win gives last year's Orange Empire Conference champions a 1-0 advantage in one of the state's toughest conferences.
Fullerton was hot early grabbing an 11-4 lead in the first four minutes with the help of a three-pointer by Nigel Carter. With the game looking like a potential blowout, the Dons fought their way back into the game at 15-14 by 12:44.
Another three by Carter and a pair of free throws by Vaj Rice gave FC a 30-19 advantage at 7:56. By halftime, FC held a 53-46 lead.
The Hornet offense was on point in the second half taking their largest lead of 15 (77-62) on a layup by Rice at 9:36.
Then the face of the game changed in the last two minutes, and Santa Ana pushed back hard to get within three points at 91-88. With 20 seconds left in the game, Santa Ana was forced to foul sending Rice and Carter to the line. Fullerton remained strong at the free throw line and secured the win.
Jason Richardson led the way for Fullerton scoring 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. He was 3-4 from three-point range. Nigel Carter had a strong night scoring 18 points with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Vaj Rice came off the bench putting up 18 points while bringing down 6 rebounds. Akil Reese added 13 points and 3 rebounds.
Up Next: The 5th in state Hornets (12-4 overall, 1-0 OEC) will hit the road again this Friday, January 5th for another Orange Empire Conference dual against Riverside City College. Tipoff is at 5:00 pm.
*Photo by Matt Brown