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HomeSportsClarksville's Blake Jenkines, former Kenwood Basketball star, to play in NCAA Tournament

Clarksville’s Blake Jenkines, former Kenwood Basketball star, to play in NCAA Tournament

Blake Jenkines - Hampton University
Blake Jenkines – Hampton University

Hampton, VA – Former Kenwood High School basketball star Blake Jenkines is living the dream of any college athlete by going to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. She and her Hampton University Lady Pirates, champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will be a #15 seed playing #2 seed Duke University, Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium at 12:05pm ET.

The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

The Lady Pirates (28-5) are the No. 15 seed in the Norfolk Region, while the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Blue Devils (30-2) are the No. 2 seed.

“It wasn’t what we wanted, but it’s what we got,” Hampton head coach David Six said. “I think we’re better than a 15 seed.”

Hampton has won 19 straight games, tied for the seventh-longest winning streak in the nation, and is coming off Saturday’s 59-38 win over Howard in the MEAC Tournament championship game. The Lady Pirates are just the second MEAC team to go undefeated in conference play and win the tournament in the same season.

The Lady Pirates lead the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 47.2 points per game, while also ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.316) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.238).

Hampton UniversityHampton features MEAC Player of the Year Keiara Avant (Chesapeake, VA), a senior forward who’s averaging a double-double this season with 16.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She is 10th in the nation with 20 double-doubles.

Avant was named the MEAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in those three games.

Three other Lady Pirates are scoring in double figures this season: junior guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, VA), a First Team All-MEAC selection, with 12.2 points per game; senior guard Olivia Allen (Kildeer, IL) with 11.8 points per game; and junior Alyssa Bennett (Hampton, Va.), the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, with 10.2 points per game.

Duke, which has won its last four games, defeated North Carolina 92-73 to win the ACC Tournament championship on March 10 in Greensboro, NC. The Blue Devils are ranked fifth in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Polls.

Four Blue Devils are scoring in double figures, led by sophomore center Elizabeth Williams with 15.4 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Tricia Liston is averaging 13.1 points per game, and junior guard/forward Haley Peters is pouring in 12.1 points per game to go along with a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

The Lady Pirates last faced Duke in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, coming off their first MEAC title under Six. The Blue Devils won that game 72-37.

Hampton is 0-4 all-time against Duke.


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