Gauchos zap Hornets for OEC title

Gauchos zap Hornets for OEC title

The Saddleback men's basketball team captured at least a share of its fourth straight Orange Empire Conference championship on Tuesday with an 88-57 win over Fullerton College.  Andrew Bournes remained hot from long range as the Gauchos improved to 26-2.

Saddleback entered the game making 24-of-38 from three-point range in the past three games so it was no surprise when the Gauchos came out gunning from downtown.  After a slow start when Fullerton took an 8-2 lead, Saddleback went on a 34-10 run, eventually heading into the locker room with a 46-24 lead.

Saddleback was 4-of-11 from long range in the half, with Bournes going 2-for-3 and scoring a team-leading 13 points.  The Gauchos also made 12-of-15 from the free throw line and recorded seven steals, frustrating an undermanned Fullerton lineup.

Things went from bad to worse for Fullerton in the second half when Saddleback opened the half on a 14-2 run to take a 60-26 lead.  The Gauchos would increase the lead to 40 before emptying out the bench.

Bournes finished with a team-high 19 points while Dusty Baker and Collin Host both finished with 13 points apiece.  Daniel Young came off the bench to end the game with a couple of thunderous dunks and finished with seven points while Jalen Hall finished with nine.

The Gauchos now have a two-game lead in the loss column over Irvine Valley with two games remaining in OEC play.  Given that the Gauchos have swept IVC they hold tiebreakers with the Lasers. 

With the win, Saddleback is now 62-15 lifetime against Fullerton. 

The Gauchos will play next at Riverside College on Friday night before finishing the regular season at home next Wednesday against Orange Coast College.