Jenkins, No. 9 Gonzaga roll past Riverside

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Kris Jenkins is used to being the little big man who’s got to contend with the human skyscrapers night in and night out.

At 6-foot-5, Jenkins, a junior forward at Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), isn’t going to win a jump ball or fly over his defender for a monster slam, but by the end of the game he finds different ways to outplay his man.

“I’m just really confident in my abilities on the court,” Jenkins said. “I think the game through and I find weaknesses that I’m able to expose. That’s worked for me my whole career.”

It worked again Saturday.

Jenkins scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles, ranked No. 9 in the POWERADE FAB 50, past No. 50 Riverside (Reserve, La.) 77-65 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.

Nate Britt chipped in with 16 points and Ricardo Gathers led Riverside with 22 points and eight rebounds.

“It’s another great win for our team,” said Britt, a junior point guard who is committed to North Carolina. “We just came out and forced the tempo and the best part was we finished even stronger than we started.”

Jenkins got going early, scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half to give the Eagles a 36-29 lead at the half.

The Eagles shot 66 percent in the second half and forced 12 turnovers to secure the comfortable win over the Runnin’ Rebels.

Britt said that three years ago when the Eagles won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference they went in to conference play undefeated.

“It’s just like our scenario this season,” Britt said. “I really feel like wins like these over great competition gives us the confidence we need to make it happen this year.”

Added Jenkins: “We really believe that this is the year that we win it. This win just builds us as a team.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.