After yielding a late three pointer, the game looked all but lost, however Marin's Eric Mireri did not give up. He drove the length of the floor in under six seconds to hit a floater with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 77-77. Marin dominated in the extra five minutes of play and walked out of the gym with a 90-84 victory over Merritt College on Friday.
Marin played from behind for the majority of the first quarter. Merritt took an early 13-9 lead five minutes in before pushing the advantage to 22-13. Marin responded with a quick 6-0 run to cut it down to 22-19 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
It remained close as Marin earned its first tie of the half as Garrick Sherrod split free throws with 3:35 left to tie the game at 31-31. Merritt finished out the half on a mini run to take a 38-35 halftime lead. Marin's Mireri, Sherrod and Derek Morgan each tallied seven first half points.
Merritt held serve most for the first ten minutes of the second half, they led 46-41 with 15:36 left and 56-51 with 10:45 remaining in the second. Merritt expanded their lead to 63-53 with seven minutes on the clock. It was at that point the Mariners made their run. They cut the lead to 69-67 with 4:30 left, and Morgan tied it a minute later at 71-71 with a layup. Merritt scored inside before Kevin Kahriman made a pair of free throws and followed with a layup to put Marin up 75-73.
Merritt split free throws to trail by one and had the ball with 12 seconds left on the clock. Merritt moved the ball quickly and jacked up a corner three that rattled home to give the Thunderbirds a 77-75 lead. Mireri quickly took the inbounds pass, dribbled the length of the court and scored to force overtime.
Merritt quickly took an 81-80 lead before an 8-0 run gave Marin an advantage they would not relinquish.
It was a thrilling win, as all for the Mariners have been this year. It was their second conference victory of the season and third overall.
Mireri led the Mariners with 21 points, while Sherrod, Morgan, RJ Cutkelvin and Kahriman all scored in double figures. Tommy Faustka led the T-Birds with 24 points.
Next up for Marin is a road trip to Mendocino College to face the Eagles on Wednesday, January 24th.