UAA Athletics

Women’s Great Alaska Shootout is making its return after 4 years off

UAA Seawolves defeated Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks

The University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball program revealed its 2022-2023 schedule on Thursday. After opening the season with three straight road games, the Seawolves will return home to host the Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 18-19 at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The event was a university tradition for 40 years, but came to an end after the 2017 edition due to dwindling attendance and millions of dollars in university budget cuts. The four-team tournament is now cosponsored by Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and ConocoPhillips Alaska and will be known as the ASRC/ConocoPhillips Great Alaska Shootout. The tournament was most recently sponsored by GCI.

“We are incredibly excited to bring back the Great Alaska Shootout,” said UAA coach Ryan McCarthy in a statement. “The Shootout was widely considered one of the premier multi-team events in collegiate women’s basketball, so to be able to bring it back will be a blessing to our state and our game. We are incredibly grateful for the support of ASRC and ConocoPhillips Alaska and their commitment to make this possible. Their commitment to our state and university has been incredible, and we cannot wait to showcase a celebration of Alaska and its cultural diversity through women’s basketball here at UAA.”

The last time the tournament was held, UAA defeated Tulsa 59-53 to finish as Great Alaska Shootout champions for the seventh time in program history.

UAA Women, Tulsa, 2017 Great Alaska Shootout, Shootout, UAA, Basketballl, Dajhae Mullins

Former Seawolves forward Shelby Cloninger was named Player of the Game for the title tilt after finishing second in the team in scoring with 13 points and tying for the team lead in rebounds with seven. She also added two blocks and went a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

The previous six times the women’s team finished first in the event were 1990, 2003, and four straight years from 2006-2009.

UAA has built one of the top Division II women’s basketball programs in the nation under McCarthy and will be playing a trio of Division I programs in the tournament. The three teams the Seawolves will be welcoming to their home court are LaSalle, Pepperdine and UC Riverside and they will all play in a true bracket format.

After the Great Alaska Shootout, the Seawolves will continue their eight-game homestand starting with a nonconference series against fellow NCAA DII West Region program Biola from Nov. 25-26. Their first taste of Great Northwest Athletic Conference action will come in the next two games with matchups with Montana State Billings on Dec. 1 and Seattle Pacific on Dec. 3.

The Seawolves will be looking to claim their seventh conference title in the last eight years and some key home games to look forward to are against Central Washington on Jan. 12 and against 2021 NCAA runner-up Western Washington Jan. 28. The Seawolves host Alaska Fairbanks Feb. 4 and have senior night scheduled on Feb. 18 in a game against Western Oregon.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.