The #7 seed FC men's basketball team hosted #10 Allan Hancock College in the Hornets Nest Friday night in the 2nd round of the SoCal Regional Playoffs and ended their season in a close heartbreaker 70-67.
For the third straight season, since head coach Perry Webster took over, the Hornets have made the playoffs and had a 20-win season.
The game was a shootout from start to finish (5 ties and 9 lead changes) with AHC getting the better half of Fullerton in the last four minutes in overtime.
FC came up with a 10-6 lead in the first minutes of the game, but the Bulldogs tied it up at 14:32. Fullerton once again pulled away 25-19 on a Khalil Stevenson layin, but AHC came back to tie it up at 25 a piece on a jumper by John Riddick with just over two minutes left in the half. A total dogfight, the first half ended with Hornets holding a slight 29-27 lead.
Fullerton eased in to the second half adding to their lead at 37-30, but AHC went on an 11-0 run to go up 41-37 at 13:45. Fullerton struggled to take the lead, but made their move with four minutes left in regulation taking a 57-56 lead on a layup by Stevenson. The dogfight was back on as both teams exchanged shots until the clock ran out. Hungry for the win both teams ended regulation tied at 60-60.
The Hornets took the first overtime lead (62-60), and that would be their only lead as momentum swung in the Bulldog's favor. With two minutes left in the game, AHC went up 65-62 on a Glenn Jordan layup. FC got within two points with 15 seconds left (69-67) on a jump shot by Jason Richardson, but it was not enough. Forced to the line, the Bulldogs hit their free throws keeping the Hornets at bay.
Normally a 70% at the free throw line, Fullerton hurt themselves at the line tonight shooting 60%. They were also cold from beyond the arc going 1-9 on three pointers, while the Bulldogs shot 7-23. Points off of turnovers also stung the Hornets 20-5 (turnovers 17 FC, 8 AHC).
FC's Jason Richardson and AHC's Devin Davis both shared a game-high 24 points. For the Hornets, Khalil Stevenson had 13 points with 9 rebounds and Vaj Rice had 14 points with 4 rebounds. Ronne Readus put up 10 points and brought down 11 rebounds.
*Photos by Phil Thurman and Jim McCormack