In their first home conference game of the season, the Hornets took care of business on Wednesday night beating Orange Coast College 76-71.
The win gives FC an overall record of 5-10 and an Orange Empire Conference record of 1-2, while the Pirate loss keeps them winless with an overall record of 0-14 and 0-3 in the OEC.
The first minutes of the first quarter was pretty close, until the Hornets began to pull away around the 5-minute mark going up 11-8 on a jumper by Kristen Sheriff. FC maintained the lead with the quarter ending in its favor 24-17.
In the second quarter, the Pirates made a 7-0 run taking a 31-26 lead at 2:17. Fullerton fought back to erase their deficit cutting it down 37-36 by halftime.
The Hornets tried to take back the game in the third quarter and did. Down 40-36, Fullerton went on a 12-2 run overtaking the Pirates 48-42 thanks to a couple of free throws by Lillian Ballestero at with 2:47 left in the quarter. FC let the Pirates back in by the end of the quarter holding a narrow 1-point 55-54 lead.
By the 6:24 mark in the fourth, the Fullerton lead was no more as OCC made their move taking the lead back at 64-58. With their work cut out ahead of them, the Hornets went back to work powering their way back on an 11-1 run to go up 69-65 with 3:43 left in regulation. From there, the FC did their best to hang on for the victory.
Deziree McGee had a team-leading performance scoring 17 points with 6 rebounds. Melody Thomsen and Kristen Sheriff both scored 14 points. Thomsen had a double-double bringing down 11 rebounds. Lyneya Turner was also impressive under the basket with 13 rebounds and 7 points. Lani Maehara chipped in 11 points on the night.
Prior to the game's start, the Hornet coaching staff and players honored OCC's Mike Thornton for his 29 years of service as the head coach the Pirate women's basketball program. He will be retiring at the season's end.
Up Next: The Hornets (5-10, 1-2) will host rival Cypress College this Friday, January 12th at 7:00 pm. Come on out and support your Hornets!
*Photos by Phil Thurman