College of Marin Men's Basketball played their second consecutive nail bitter, and for the second straight time grabbed a victory. After a thrilling win at Los Medanos the previous Friday, the Mariners held off a late rally by the Solano Falcons for a 73-70 win. The visitors from Fairfield had the ball down three with 15 seconds left, but Marin's excellent defense forced a turnover. The Mariners got possession, and a heads-up full court heave prevented any last second fouls. Six players on the Mariners scored seven or more points, led by Franco Barefield's 17.
The Falcons scored the first five points of the game, and led 18-7 seven minutes into the game. The usually strong starting Mariners battled back to cut the deficit to four at 23-19 with 9:30 left in the first half. Solano pushed back to lead 41-33 in the final seconds, but Malik Ghiden nailed a last second three pointer to cut the lead to 41-36 at halftime.
The Mariners used halftime to recharge, and it paid immediate dividends to start the second half. Marin opened the half on a 10-0 run to take a 46-41 lead and built their advantage to 54-48 six minutes into the half. Solano did not wither and disappear as they came within a point to 59-58.
The Falcons took a 61-60 lead with eight minutes left before Jalen Chandler drove the lane and scored a second chance bucket to go back on top. The teams traded baskets as Marin led 69-67 with under two minutes remaining. Barefield delivered an alley-oop to Chandler to put Marin up by four, but Solano answered with a wing three pointer to make the score 71-70 with 90 seconds left.
College of Marin dribbled the clock down and missed a shot, but battled for an offensive rebound. They reduced missed on their second possession and Solano took control with 35 seconds left. After a timeout, Solano threw the ball away with 15 seconds on the clock, and fouled Julian Bryant who knocked down both free throws to build a 73-70 lead. With the clock winding down, Malik Ghiden poked the ball away to Jalen Chandler who flung the ball out of Solano's reach as the clock expired.
The Mariners' shot 40.9% in the game, and made 15 of 22 free throws. Barefield scored 17 points and added four assists and three rebounds. Chandler had a double double with 15 points and 10 boards while Alfonso Murrie added 13 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Center Ethan Battistini had 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and pair of blocks.
The win pushed the Mariners over .500 with a 13-12 record. They are currently 7-7, fifth in the Bay Valley Conference.
The Mariners visit the Merritt College Thunderbirds on Friday, February 14th at 5:30pm.