Fullerton College men’s basketball improves to 22-5 last night in their last regular-season game after defeating Saddleback College 71-64.
On a night where the Hornets were missing three of their key players, Fullerton moves to third place in the Orange Empire Conference to a record of 11-5.
The Hornets were coming off a disappointing loss to Riverside College earlier in the week, giving them their fifth loss of the season.
Fullerton wasted no time and started the game strong. The Hornets went up on box score 10-0, thanks to a couple of three-point jumps shots from freshmen guard-forward Ronnie Stapp and freshmen guard Ryen Perry.
The three-point jump shots didn’t stop there as the Hornets extended their lead to 17 points by scoring three consecutive three-pointers again from Perry, Stapp and this time adding freshmen guard Devin Howlin to the mix.
From there, the Hornets went on a 25-6 run, putting the score 35-8 with five minutes left to play in the first half.
Fullerton managed to shoot 48% from the field goal range, 46% from three-point range and was able to produce five steals, ending the first half with a 20 point lead.
The Hornets started off the second half with three monstrous dunks from freshmen forward-center Jacob Eyman but still managed to struggle at the beginning of the second half.
The Gauchos went on an 11-4 run cutting down Fullerton’s lead to 14 points with 16 minutes left to play.
The game became a back and forth, with Saddleback showing no signs of giving up.
Saddleback kept pushing and were able to stick around and with a minute and a half left on the clock, the Gauchos reduced their deficit to 64-59 reducing Fullerton’s big lead to within five points.
The Hornets were able to hold on and come out with an important victory and FC Head Coach Perry Webster couldn’t be any more appreciative of his team.
“It says a lot about the team’s character and toughness, to come out here and compete and find a way to get a win… I am really, really proud of them. It’s one of the best wins that we’ve had since I’ve been here. I really feel that way and really proud of our guys,” said Webster.
Not shying away from the moment and stepping up despite the team being down with some injuries was the Hornets top leading scorer of the night Perry, scoring 17 points, having 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
“It was very important because we had some guys down. We had our main point guard DJ, we had Twan who was out, Harrison is a big portion of our team, they were are all down. So it was up to the guys like me and Dev to help out the team,” said Perry.