Beth Bragg

Reggie Upshaw scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half to help Middle Tennessee State capture the GCI Great Alaska Shootout championship Saturday night with a 77-70 win over Toledo. But it was his three points in the first half that really carried the Blue Raiders to victory. Upshaw drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to forge a 32-32 halftime lead and send his team into the locker room on a high note. That was critical, because until the final few minutes of the first half, the Blue Raiders had little to be happy about. "The way we closed the half made all the difference in the world," MTSU coach Kermit Davis said. "It was probably the play of the game. It gave us so much enthusiasm." And it carried over into the second half. The Blue Raiders came out halftime on fire, reeling off...Beth Bragg
The Seawolves didn't win a trophy at this year's GCI Great Alaska Shootout. But they left what could be a long-lasting mark on the tournament record book. Suki Wiggs, the most electrifying shot-maker in years to wear green and gold, scored 30 points Saturday in UAA's 91-87 loss to San Jose State to become the all-time leading scorer in the 38-year-old tournament. Added to games of 35 Thursday and 33 Friday, Wiggs finished with 98 total points to break the 1993 scoring record of 97 set by Purdue great Glenn Robinson. To appreciate how long Robinson's record stood, Wiggs, 21, was born a year after Robinson carved his name in the Shootout record book. "He has a son, right?" Wiggs said when asked if he knew who Robinson was. Right. Robinson, who had an 11-year NBA career, is the father of...Beth Bragg
Last-second heroics probably weren't on the minds of the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State seven minutes into the second half of their semifinal game Friday night in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout. They were shooting better than 50 percent and leading UNC Asheville by 19 points. The Blue Raiders were hot, the Bulldogs were not. Then suddenly the Bulldogs were hot and the Blue Raiders were watching their lead disappear. And that's why it took a 3-pointer by Darnell Harris with 30 seconds left to lift MTSU to a 63-61 win and into Saturday's championship game at the Alaska Airlines Center. "When I got the ball I looked at the shot clock and there was about four seconds left," Harris said in a post-game radio interview. He launched the shot and saved his team. MTSU (3-1) will take on...Beth Bragg
A productive bench and career-best performances from two senior starters carried San Jose State past San Diego 76-67 in Friday's first game at the Shootout. Frank Rogers, a 6-foot-9 senior forward, had career bests of 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Princeton Onwas, a 6-6 senior guard, handed out a career-high seven assists for the Spartans. Ownas dished to Rogers for a 3-pointer from the corner that gave San Jose State a 67-61 lead with just more than two minutes to play at the Alaska Airlines Center. As a team, the Spartans enjoyed a season-high 31 points from their bench and a season-low seven turnovers, including one from Ownas at the point. Isaac Thornton provided 15 points and four assists off the bench, and starters Ownas and Ryan Welage each scored 10 points San Diego led for much...Beth Bragg
It was a little like Harry Potter conquering the Hungarian Horntail. The UAA men's basketball team, always the underdog at the Great Alaska Shootout, took down a Division I Dragon on Friday, outdueling the bigger Drexel Dragons 71-65 in a physical battle at the Alaska Airlines Center. The win puts the Seawolves in Saturday's 2 p.m. fourth-place game against San Jose State. The Seawolves are 37-76 all-time in the tournament that features seven Division I teams plus the Division II UAA; in six of the previous 37 Shootouts, they have won two games to finish in fourth place. "Our ultimate goal is to get three wins but we just want this next one," said Christian Leckband, a senior from Nome who will play his final Shootout game Saturday. "I think we can do it." Leckband wore a bag of ice on...Beth Bragg
Suki Wiggs was in the zone Thursday night. Unfortunately for the UAA men's basketball team, so was Middle Tennessee State. Wiggs turned in a marvelous 35-point effort -- one of the highest-scoring performances in the 38 years of the Great Alaska Shootout -- but Middle Tennessee State's zone defense carried the Blue Raiders to a dramatic 75-72 first-round win over the Seawolves. Sparked by their 1-3-1 zone defense, the Blue Raiders (2-1) opened up a 15-point lead with seven minutes left. But as is their habit when they take on Division I teams at the Shootout, the Division II Seawolves roared back. With an Alaska Airlines Center crowd of 2,478 cheering them on, the Seawolves went on a 19-4 run that gave them a 66-64 lead with 2:13 left. The Blue Raiders responded with six straight points...Beth Bragg
Wednesday night fans saw a college basketball rarity -- a triple-double. Though fairly common in the NBA, where the games are longer and the shot clock shorter, triple-doubles are rare in college basketball. Center Nathan Boothe became the first player in the history of Toledo basketball and one of a handful of players in the 38 years of the Great Alaska Shootout to post a triple-double. The 6-foot-9 senior racked up 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his team's 89-74 win over San Jose State. It was the second triple-double in Division I basketball this season, according to At the 1994 Shootout, UAA's Dana Pope recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 96-74 win over Jackson State. At the 1990 tournament, Marc Brown of Siena piled up 32 points, 10 rebounds and 10...Beth Bragg
With their moms watching from the Alaska Airlines Stadium stands, Milton Doyle and Donte Ingram teamed up for an alley-oop dunk that sparked the game-winning run for Loyola Chicago in Wednesday's late-late show at the Great Alaska Shootout. Doyle, a junior from Chicago, lobbed the pass that Ingram,a sophomore from Chicago, caught above the rim for a dunk that helped power their team's 67-57 first-round victory over San Diego. The shot delighted a crowd of 2,362 that included both players' mothers, who traveled together to Anchorage to watch their sons play. Ingram's jam gave Loyola a 40-37 lead with 14 minutes left in the game. San Diego lead once after that, 44-42, but the Ramblers came roaring back. Devon Turk netted a 3-pointer at the 11:54 mark to ignite a 19-5 run that gave the...Beth Bragg
A rugged game decided the women's championship of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, one in which every possession was a battle, nearly every shot was contested and the winner could be better described as a survivor. Western Kentucky used a decisive size advantage to hold off UAA 62-58 in a Wednesday night dogfight at the Alaska Airlines Center. The loss was UAA's first of the season, snapping an 11-game winning streak. It won't go on the team's record, though, because the game was an exhibition for the Seawolves. But the game counted for Western Kentucky, which moved to 3-1 with its two Shootout wins. Ivy Brown, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, racked up 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Hilltoppers. Megan Mullings supplied 15 points and nine rebounds for the Seawolves, who were frustrated time...Beth Bragg
Springtime in Alaska is not what teams from California, North Carolina and Tennessee had in mind when they headed north to play in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout. Just a week ago it was below zero in Anchorage. On Wednesday temperatures were in the mid-40s and the snow had all but vanished. “It’s my first time to Alaska, and I’m sort of disappointed, and I’ll tell you why,” San Jose State coach Dave Wojcik said. “I wanted it to be below zero. I wanted to go ice fishing.” Wojcik said that Rob Galosich, who with wife Monique are the Seawolf Captains serving as hosts to the Spartans, advised against ice fishing during current conditions. “He said, ‘We can’t go ice fishing, you might fall in,' ” Wojcik said. “Well, my assistants and players want me to go ice fishing.” A couple of the men’s...Beth Bragg