The No. 1 in state Hornets hosted South Mountain College of Arizona on Saturday afternoon, and held off the Cougars 78-65.
The last time Fullerton College hosted a team from out of state was 13 years ago on December 29, 2005. It was an 81-62 win against Southeastern, Iowa. After that game, Dieter Horton's Hornets went on to run the table with an undefeated season en route to a state title.
The Hornets and Cougars kept it close in the first minutes of the game. Fullerton made its move at the 12-minute mark taking an 18-13 lead on a lay-in by Ronne Readus. South Mountain came firing back to take the lead (26-25) at 6:42 on a pair of free throws by Carlos Tovias. Both teams did their best to gain the upper hand, but by the end of the first half the game was tied 35-35.
The battle continued well into the second half, until Fullerton turned the game in their favor on a layup by Ezekiel Alley at 14:37. From there, FC went on an 8-4 swing that put them up 54-45 in less than 3 minutes. The Hornets went on to take their largest lead of 15 (70-55) with 5 minutes left in the game and held on for the win.
Four of the five starters for Fullerton scored in double-digits with Ezekiel Alley leading the way with 16. Lance Coleman II scored 15, Ronne Readus 14, and Rodrick McCobb 11. Vaj Rice and Jailen Moore chipped in with 8 points each in the win.
Up Next: Fullerton (13-1 overall) will open up 2019 on the road against Moorpark College (at Ventura College) on Friday, January 4th. Tip off is at 5:00 pm. The next day, the Hornets will play again against Ventura College at Riverside City College at noon.