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MEN'S BASKETBALL: SUCCESS AT CITRUS TOURNEY

MEN'S BASKETBALL: SUCCESS AT CITRUS TOURNEY

The Hornets proved why they were recently ranked No. 2 in the state winning both of their games against quality opponents over the weekend at the Citrus College Invitational.

Fullerton beat out a talented Victor Valley College squad 86-73 on Friday. The following night, Victor Valley went on to give No. 13 Southwestern their second loss of the season 87-83.

The Rams drained the opening shot of the game, a three-pointer by Jamain Owens. That was a wake-up call for FC as they went on an 8-4 run. Victor Valley took their second and last lead at 14-10 on another three, this time by Alton Thompson. The Hornets went on a 15-5 run taking a 25-19 lead at 11:08 on a layup by Azekiel Alley. Vaj Rice's layin gave Fullerton their largest lead of 20 (50-30) with less than a minute left in the first half. 

The second half was all Hornets as they maintained a healthy point-cushion for the win. 

Fullerton's big men played a vital role in the win out rebounding Victor Valley 35-23. They were also successful in shots in the paint outshooting the Rams 50-24.

Ezekiel Alley led the way for FC scoring 21 points with 8 assists. Vaj Rice followed up with 16 points and Lance Coleman II had 15 with 8 rebounds. Ronne Readus put up 12 points with 13 rebounds, while Rodrick McCobb scored 11 points.

The Hornets faced off against the only team to beat them this season in No. 5 Citrus College. In a wild one, FC came back from ten to top the Owls 90-86.

The Owls jumped all over the Hornets taking an early 6-0. By the 13:43 mark, Citrus was up 17-11, but Fullerton got back into the game tying it up at 17-17 on an and-one play conversion by Ezekiel Alley at 11:30. The Owls went on another run taking a 37-28 lead with just over 3 minutes left in the half, but Fullerton did their best to stay within striking distance cutting the deficit down 41-37 by halftime.

By the looks of things, it looked as though Citrus was going to pull off their second win over the Hornets as they took their largest lead of 11 (61-50) by the 12-minute mark. However, Fullerton had other plans as they fought back to tie the game up at 75-75 on a jumper by Ronne Readus with just 4 minutes left in regulation.

The dogfight was on as both teams battled it out in the final minutes. With the score tied at 81 apiece, Citrus went up by two on a shot by Colby Orr, but Lance Coleman II hit a crucial three-pointer putting the Hornets up 84-83 with just over a minute left. Fullerton proceeded to claim the game going on a 6-3 run.

Lance Coleman II led the Hornets in scoring with 24 points, and Ezekiel Alley dropped in 21 with 7 assists. Ronne Readus had another double-double game with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Oamjae Smith helped out with 10 points, while Jailen Moore and Rodrick McCobb both had 7 points each.

Up Next: Fullerton (7-1 overall) heads Northern California to play in the Foothill College Tournament December 7-9. The Hornets open up with Marin College on Friday at 8:00 pm.

*Photo by Jim McCormack

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