Top seeded Fullerton will look to make another trip to Ventura after missing the Elite Eight a year ago as the Hornets will host 8th seeded Southwestern (25-4) on Saturday evening. Fullerton comes into the game as the number one seed and advanced to the sweet 16 after picking up a 68-59 win over Allan Hancock. The Hornets controlled the second half and knocked out the Bulldogs in a rematch of a playoff game from a year ago that Hancock won. The Hornets were led by Lance Coleman as the sophomore made four three pointers and scored a game high of 23 points in the victory. Cal State Bakersfield bound Ronne Readus had a monster game as the sophomore pulled down 19 rebounds (13 offensive) and added 16 points in the win. As for the Jaguars, Southwestern comes into the game after picking up a 92-82 home win against San Bernardino. The Jaguars have won 25 games this season and picked up a huge win as Marquavian Stephens had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in the win. Marc Combs had 17 points and Nathaniel Pearson added 16 points and 8 assists in the victory. It will be the the first meeting between the two teams with a berth to Ventura on the line.
Fullerton (26-3): The Hornets come into the contest as the top seed and the Orange Empire Conference co champions will look to advance to Ventura with a win on Saturday. Fullerton is led in scoring by Lance Coleman as the sophomore is averaging 19.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. Coleman has been spectacular this season as the sophomore had three 30 point games in conference action. Coleman has shot 44% from downtown and shoots 91% from the line this season. Sophomore Ronne Readus has been another bright spot for the Hornets as the big man has averaged 12.7 points and 11.5 rebounds and is 2nd in the state in offensive rebounds. Jailen Moore (11.7 points, 45% from downtown), Rodrick McCobb (9.4 points), and Omajae Smith (7.4 points) have all been solid this season for the Hornets. Fullerton averages 80.1 points per game and the Hornets give up 61.7 points per game which is 2nd best in the state. Fullerton shoots 47% from the floor (9th in the state), make 9 threes per contest (17th in the state), shoot 39% from downtown (3rd in the state) and if the game is on the line the Hornets are fourth in the state in free throw shooting at 76%. Fullerton is 9th in the state in rebounding (40.6), 11th in rebounding margin, opponents shoot 37% (1st in the state), and opponents shoot 29% from downtown against the Hornets.
Southwestern (25-4): The Jaugars come into the game as the number eight seed after winning 25 games and winning the Pacific Coast South Conference championship. Southwestern has been a solid team all season and will look to challenge to top seed with a trip to Ventura on the line. Southwestern is led by Marquavian Stephens at the offensive end as the freshman has had a standout season averaging 18.2 points and 6.0 rebounds this season for the Jaguars. Stephens has been solid all season as the wing has made 78 three pointers and shot 44% from downtown for the Jaguars. Nathaniel Pearson is another freshman standout that has been solid for Southwestern. Pearson has averaged 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists this season. Jordan Cooke (10.3 points and 7.7 rebounds), Tyler Simmons (7.1 points), Marc Combs (7.6 points), DJ Wilson (8.4 points), and Quincy Ferebee (7.1 points) are all other players that could contribute against Fullerton. Southwestern is a high powered offense as the Jaguars average 84.2 points per game and give up 70.2 points per game. Southwestern is 4th in the state in field goals made per game (31.2), 16th in field goal percentage (47%), and the Jaguars made 9.4 threes per game (10th in the state) while making 39% which is 5th in the state. The Jaguars also squeeze the orange at a pretty good rate as Southwestern only turns over the ball 12 times per game which is 8th in the state. At the defensive end, the Jaguars at the best in the state in opponents three point percentage as teams shoot 29% from downtown against them. Southwestern holds opponents to 41% from the floor and average 4.1 blocks per game.