The Mariners struggled in a grinder of a game on Wednesday evening in Oakland as they fell to the Merritt College Thunderbirds 65-54. Technical issues meant the teams played for much of the game without a visible shot clock which caused some offensive struggles for both squads. The Mariners displayed a balanced attack, with five players scoring seven or more points in the game, but it was insufficient to deliver a road victory.
It was defensive struggle in the opening half as both teams found it difficult to adapt to a nearly nonexistent shot clock. The two foes played to draw in the first 20 minutes with the score tied at 28-28 at halftime. Zamaria Odom was the offense for Marin with nine points, Jalen Chandler added five and Alfonso Murrie four of his own.
The second half did not show a marked improvement in offensive efficiency as both teams again struggled to find a rhythm. The Mariners played well defensively, forcing turnovers and blocking shots, but their offense could not take advantage of extra possessions. Merritt lived at the line and once they took the lead they slowly pulled away before grabbing victory 65-54.
While the Mariners shot better than the Thunderbirds, Merritt won the battle on the offensive glass 12-6 in the game. The primary difference in the game was at the free throw line, as the Mariners made seven of their 13 attempts, while Merritt was much more efficient netting 22 of 25 tries. The 15-point free throw line disparity ultimately decided the game.
Eric Mireri led Marin with 11 points and added three boards, two assists, a steal and a block. Chandler had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals while Joey Potts had seven points, five rebounds and a quartet of blocks in the game.
Sherab Nyima paced the Thunderbirds with 16 points, while Joe Okitukunda added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The loss dropped the Mariners' record to 4-3 in the Bay Valley Conference and 8-10 overall. Marin has an off-day Friday before hosting the College of Alameda Cougars on Wednesday, January 23 at 6pm.