College of Marin Men's Basketball put together 40 minutes of solid basketball on Wednesday, resulting in their first home win of 2020. The Mariners led practically wire to wire, expanding on a six-point halftime lead to grab a double-digit victory over their rivals from the East Bay. A defensive struggle fell in Marin's favor as they limited Merritt's chances and emerged with the 64-53 win. Julian Bryant led the Mariners with 16 points while Jalen Chandler and Franco Barefield each chipped double digit points of their own.
The Mariners fell behind early but quickly took their first lead six minutes into the game 11-9. They extended their advantage to 15-9 and then to 21-14 with just under five minutes left in the first half. Marin's advantage was 11 points with a minute remaining on the clock but a pair of buckets by Merritt cut their deficit to just 33-27 as the buzzer sounded.
As the second half tipped off, Merritt upped their apparent competitiveness but it did not defer the Mariners from controlling the game. Marin used excellent ball movement and key offensive rebounds to smother Merritt and really prevent the visitors from making a run. Marin pushed their lead to nine and the Thunderbirds had little answer. Though Merritt kept it close at 54-45 with 3:40 remaining in the game, there was little doubt that the Mariners would be victorious at the final buzzer.
As a team Marin shot 40.8% from the floor and 43.8% from distance. Most impressive was Marin's poise at the line. The Mariners made 17-23 free throws, including several down the stretch to ice the game.
Julian Bryant had 16 points on four of nine shooting with a pair of three pointers and six made free throws. Jalen Chandler had 13 points and 11 rebounds as well as a pair of blocks on the day. Franco Barefield added 12 of his own to go with seven boards and three assists.
The win wan Marin's eighth of the year and second in Bay Valley Conference competition. The Mariners face the College of Alameda Cougars in Alameda on Wednesday, January 22nd.