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The University of California Santa Barbara defeated Washington State 71-43 on Thursday in the opening round of the men's Great Alaska Shootout at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Matt Tunseth
In a first-round Shootout game packed with big plays, a big comeback and a whole lot of free throws, Mercer beat Rice in overtime.Beth Bragg
An Anchorage fifth-grader jumped into the spotlight on Wednesday during the championship game of the women's Great Alaska Shootout. Matt Tunseth
Three years after a financial crisis put it at risk of bankruptcy, the Alaska School Activities Association is grappling with what to do with a budget surplus. Matt Tunseth
Colorado State's Larry Eustachy stole the show at the annual coaches luncheon Wednesday. He might've won over a few hockey fans too.Beth Bragg
Rookie goaltender Niklas Lundstrom has smoothed the rough edges of his game lately, and that improvement has mirrored his team's -- after a difficult start, the Aces have won three straight games.Doyle Woody

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos defeated the Washington State Cougars 71-43 in a first round game in the 2014 GCI Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Bob Hallinen

The Mercer Bears defeated the Rice Owls 77-71 in overtime in a first round game in the 2014 GCI Great Alaska Shootout basketball Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center at UAA on Thursday, November 27, 2014. 

Pat Flanigin, who came to Anchorage decades ago to play for the Northern Knights of the CBA, is back in the game as a volunteer coach for the UAA women's team. Beth Bragg
Pacific pulled away down the stretch in its 71-62 win over UAA in the opening game of the men's Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday night. Matt Tunseth

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