Buccaneers awarded at-large bid for national tournament

The Blinn women’s basketball team is headed back to the national stage.

For the second consecutive year, the 12th-ranked Buccaneers were awarded one of four at-large bids by the NJCAA and will head to Salina, Kan., March 17-22 to compete for a national championship.

“This is a great opportunity for our team,” Blinn coach Jeff Jenkins said. “I think it’s well deserved and the committee made a good decision.”

Blinn is 26-6 on the season, with four of its losses coming to No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley and 11th-ranked Tyler. The Bucs will join Trinity Valley and Tyler at the national tournament. Trinity Valley clinched its trip after it claimed the Region XIV Conference championship. Tyler earned its berth after it beat Blinn in the conference tournament semifinals on Friday, leaving the Bucs’ fate to the selection committee.

“We’ve improved a lot throughout the year,” Jenkins said. “We lost to Hill and Temple the first week of the season, but since then we’ve beaten everyone we’re supposed to beat. I think we’re playing really well right now and a lot of people are stepping up.”

Blinn advanced to its second national tournament in program history last season and won the program’s first game on the national stage. The Bucs beat Kaskaskia (Ill.) College and Darton (Ga.) State College before losing to eventual national champion Trinity Valley in the Elite Eight.

Butler (Kan.) Community College, Northwest Florida State College and Salt Lake Community College were awarded the other at-large bids.

For more information on Blinn women’s basketball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.

(Story & photos courtesy: Matty Keyser, Blinn Information)

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