The LMC men’s basketball team (18-6) barely lost 75-76 to the College of Marin Mariners (12-12) Friday night. The story of the night for LMC was getting open looks but not being able to finish the play. Their defense kept them in much of this game, allowing them opportunities to extend the multiple leads they had throughout. Ultimately, Marin barely squeaked by and came out on top.
LMC got off to a slow start offensively but began to pick up the pace after a few minutes. Marin struck first blood but was unable to create much distance between them and the Mustangs’ top notch defense. Once LMC found their footing on offense, they began to create open shots by swinging the ball around the perimeter. This would break down the zone that Marin was playing and would lead to quality shot opportunities.
On defense, LMC was controlling the rebounds and making sure Marin were not able to get second chance opportunities. LMC’s defense would also create offensive opportunities through steals that led to fast-breaks. LMC would play much less comfortably on offense with a lead, which was a recurring problem throughout this game. They just couldn’t build up a larger lead at any time in the game which allowed Marin to constantly be within striking distance of the Mustangs.
Even with the struggles by LMC, they would go into halftime up 47-39. Marin would come out swinging the first few minutes of the second half, scoring in three straight possessions. LMC was struggling on both ends of the floor at this point but would bounce back with two scores of their own. This is when the pace of the second half was picked up and both teams began to find their groove.
Marin was finding open shot opportunities and knocking them down. LMC would pick up the intensity on defense, which time and time again would convert to offense. LMC would continue to struggle putting Marin away however, and with 5:07 left in the second half the momentum was firmly on LMC’s side. They were up 70-64 at this point and the results were looking promising for the Mustangs. This is when Marin began to mount a comeback.
LMC began to look lost on offense, there was a lack of communication and sloppy plays were being made. Marin would use this opening to their advantage. A turnover by LMC with 2:30 left in the game would lead to a layup and a foul for Marin. The score at this point was 74-72 for Marin, but #4 Zack Martinez hits a huge 3-pointer for LMC and puts them back up by one.
With 13 seconds left, Marin had possession. This is when #0 for the Mariners, Franco Barefield, would make a tough left-handed layup with only 1.4 seconds left on the clock. LMC would respond by getting the ball over half-court and calling a timeout with only one second left, hoping to create the winning inbounds play. They inbounded the ball and threw up a prayer, but it wasn’t answered. Marin would win 75-76.
“Our defense played about how we usually would, only allowing 76 points. That’s typical for our defense, our offense just wasn’t on point tonight,” said Assistant Coach Chris Corby
The other assistant coach Del Bene said,
“We needed more ball movement, we would get a lead and start playing 1-on-1 basketball. We had a lot of open loks that just wouldn’t fall tonight. Marin is a tough team and they have been playing well recently.”