Winning their last two Orange Empire Conference games, the Hornets had a tall order at home Wednesday night against the #7th ranked Irvine Valley College Lasers, and lost a tight one 66-51.

The loss knocks FC (4-5, 8-13 overall) out of fourth place in a tough Orange Empire Conference race, while Irvine Valley remains undefeated (9-0, 19-3 overall) in the OEC.

Fullerton opened up the first quarter making a statement grabbing a 7-2 lead. Melody Thomsen was strong under the basket and Aliya-Deen Ahmad slashed her way to the basket keeping IVC off balance. Thomsen hit a jumper with a second left in the quarter putting the Hornets up 13-7.

The second quarter was a dogfight as IVC took their first lead of the game within in a minute on a three-pointer by Bryana Espritu and then a layup by Mary Dishonian.  IVC was up 19-15 at 5:58, but FC battled back to take the lead, 24-22 on a lay-in by Ahmad. By the end of the half, the Hornets were on top 33-29.

Lani Maehara knocked down a three-pointer at 5:26 in the third quarter adding to Fullerton's lead at 38-32. The momentum of the game soon swung the other way as Irvine Valley went on a game-breaking 15-2 run to take the lead at 47-40. From there the Hornets went cold.

The fourth quarter was all IVC as their defense held the Hornets to a total of 6 points. The Lasers took advantage grabbing their largest lead of the game of 18 with just over 3 minutes left. The Hornets gave all that they had, but in the end the OEC's top team came up big for the win.

Melody Thomsen put out another great effort scoring 14 points with 8 rebounds. Aliyah-Deen Ahmad and Deziree McGee both scored 11 points. Ahmad also contributed 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Up Next: The Hornets (8-13, 4-5) will hit the road this Friday, February 2nd to play against Orange Coast College. Tip off is at 5:00 pm.

*Photos by Phil Thurman