Men's basketball team can't slow down Fullerton in home loss

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team knew it was a going to have its hands full with a talented Fullerton squad in an Orange Empire Conference game on Wednesday night at home.

The Lasers did a good job of staying with and even leading the Hornets through first 15 minutes.

But Fullerton had too much scoring firepower for the IVC in the end, using big runs at the end of the first half and start of the second half to take control.

Fullerton, ranked 13th in the state and seventh in Southern California, came up with a 71-57 victory.

The loss dropped Irvine Valley's record to 10-8 overall and 1-2 in conference. It was IVC's second straight defeat after falling to Saddleback last Friday.

Fullerton improved its record to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in conference.

IVC jumped out to a 10-6 lead after a jumper by freshman forward Lance Coleman II and a layup by sophomore guard Zuri Williams.

And a three-pointer by Coleman made it a 15-8 game with 14:25 left in the first half.

The Lasers took their largest lead of the game at 30-22 after another three-pointer by Coleman with 5:24 left in the half.

But IVC had trouble scoring points after that.

Fullerton closed out the first half on a 16-2 run, including scoring the final 10 points.

Kendall Lauderdale made a layup, Kenny Barnes scored back-to-back baskets, Dillon Reise made two free throws and then Johnathon Ross added a layup with four seconds left in the half.

Fullerton took a 38-32 lead into the break.

And then Ian Fox got going for the Hornets early in the second half.

Fullerton went on a 18-6 run to open the second half, including getting four three-pointers by Fox.

The last of his three-pointers pushed Fullerton's advantage to 56-38 with 13:13 left in the game.

In a little over a 12-minute span from the first to second half, Irvine Valley was out-scored, 34-8.

Fullerton led by as many as 19 points before winning by 14.

The Lasers shot just 39.7 percent (23 of 58) from the field, while Fullerton shot 50.0 (27 of 54).

IVC was out-rebounded, 40-25, and out-scored on points in the paint, 40-16.

Coleman did what he could for the Lasers, finishing with a game-high 23 points. He made 9 of 19 shots, including going 5 of 8 on three-pointers.

Sophomore guard Mike Turner added 13 points, while sophomore forward Zach Harvey and Williams each finished with five points and six rebounds.

Fullerton was paced by Reise, who had 21 points. Fox chipped in 17 points and eight assists and Lauderdale and Ross each had 12 points. Lauderdale also had eight rebounds.

Irvine Valley will be back at it again on Friday when it plays at Cypress in a conference game at 7 p.m.

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