Irvine Valley's men's basketball team had a tough time early with the top squad in the state and ended up falling to Fullerton, 74-53, at home on Friday night.
Irvine Valley's record went to 3-15 overall and 0-2 in the Orange Empire Conference, while top-ranked Fullerton improved to 17-1 overall and 2-0 in conference. It was Fullerton's 15th-straight victory.
The Lasers trailed, 44-16, at the half and were down by as many as 38 points early in the second half before closing to within 17 points at 70-53 on a three-pointer by sophomore guard DeVon Lamar with 2:43 to play.
But Irvine Valley didn't get any closer and fell by 21.
IVC got in the big hole by shooting just 17.9 percent (5 of 28) from the field in the first half. Fullerton shot 61.9 percent (13 of 21) in the first 20 minutes and out-rebounded IVC, 23-8.
The Lasers were much better in the second half, shooting 46.7 percent (14 of 30).
Irvine Valley was paced in the game by sophomore guard Geoff Salas with 16 points. Lamar had eight points and three assists and freshman forward Sadiq Muhammad added eight points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Fullerton got 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists from Lance Coleman II, 19 points from Rodrick McCobb and 12 points from Jailen Moore in the win.
Irvine Valley plays its third-straight home game to open conference play next Wednesday at home against Saddleback at 5 p.m.