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The Hornets hosted district and conference rival Cypress College on Friday night and got past the Chargers 56-51 in the final minutes. 

It was a good win for FC after suffering a disappointing 62-61 home-loss at the hands of Saddleback College two days prior. Fullerton now stands at 14-5 overall and 3-1 in the Orange Empire Conference. The loss keeps Cypress down on the low end of the OEC standings at 0-3 with an overall record of 6-12.

From the opening tipoff, both teams grinded in a game that had 6 ties and 8 lead changes. The biggest lead of the game was 7 points when Cypress went up 16-9 on a three-pointer by Kyle Small at 10:37.

The Hornets trailed throughout the first half, but kept the game relatively close. By the time the two teams went to the lockers for the halftime break the score was 26-24 in the Charger's favor.

Fullerton took their first lead of the game at the 16 minute mark (28-26) on a layup by Rodrick McCobb. The FC lead did not last long as Cypress' Randall Walker hit a free throw to go back up 30-29 at 13:31.

The Hornets did their best to stay within a few points of Cypress until they made their move with 9 minutes left. Vaj Rice powered in a layup to tie the game up at 39-39, and then Akil Reese knocked down a couple of free throws to go up by two.

The Hornets did not relinquish the lead the rest of the game but not with out a fight from the Chargers. In the final minutes of the game, was a physical battle, but in the end FC made their free throws and held on for the OEC win.

Jason Richardson had a game-high 16 points with 5 rebounds for Fullerton. Vaj Rice dropped in 15 points with 7 rebounds, and Ronne Readus scored 8 points in a winning effort.

Up Next: The Hornets (14-5 overall, 3-1 OEC) will play again at home on Wednesday, January 17th against new OEC challenger Copper Mountain College. Tipoff is at 5:00 pm.

*Photos by Phil Thurman