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MEN’S BASKETBALL: AND STILL THE CHAMPS!

MEN’S BASKETBALL: AND STILL THE CHAMPS!

Despite losing at red-hot at Saddleback College 69-65 on Friday, the Hornets still won the Orange Empire Conference title.

It was fitting that the No. 2 Hornets played their last regular-season game at No. 15 Saddleback, where the Gauchos have won 10 straight. Saddleback's win tonight would have rewarded them with a share of the title, but the program is on probation and is banned from post-season competition.

The conference title win marks the 29th in program history for Fullerton, and gives Coach Webster his second in four seasons.

FC ends the regular season with an overall record of 25-3, one of the best in the program's history. Dieter Horton's 2005-06 squad went 37-0, Alex Omalev's 1953-54 team was 31-2, and George "Mo" Radovich's 1971-72 Hornets were 33-3.

The game was another knock-down drag-out battle from beginning until the end. There were 11 ties and 7 lead changes.

Tied 50-50 with 6 minutes left in the game, Saddleback took over going on a 9-0 run that sucked all of the wind out of the Hornets wings. FC did its best to get it back cutting the lead to 5 (67-62) with 15 second left, but it was too little too late.

The shots were not falling for Fullerton as they hit just 33.3% to Saddleback's 43.1%. The Gauchos also led FC in second chance points 19-5.

Lance Coleman II was once again head and shoulders above everyone scoring a game-high 30 points with 9 rebounds. Ronne Readus cranked out 12 points with 11 boards, while Rodrick McCobb put up 10 points. Omajae Smith scored 8 points.

Up Next: The No. 1 seeded Hornets (25-3) will play the winner of the play-in game between No. 16 Allan Hancock and No. 17 Miramar Colleges at home in the Hornets Nest this Saturday, March 2nd. Tip off will be at 7:00 pm.

*Photos by Jim McCormack

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