ANCHORAGE – Hot-shooting Portland guard Holly Blades scored 21 points and the Pilots used a big third-quarter surge to earn a 66-57 victory over host Alaska Anchorage in the first round of the women’s GCI Great Alaska Shootout at the Alaska Airlines Center on Tuesday.

The Pilots (1-3) also got 14 points and eight rebounds from Ashley Gray, plus 12 points and six assists from Kaylie Van Loo, to advance to the tournament’s Wednesday night title game against Southern California.

The Seawolves (4-1), ranked No. 6 in the NCAA Div. II top 25 poll, were led by 13 points apiece from senior forwards Autummn Williams and Alysha Devine, but the hosts were outshot 50 percent to 29 percent as they failed to advance to the Shootout final for the first time since 2013.

UAA earned its largest lead at 21-15 in the opening minutes of the second quarter before the Pilots starting chipping away, and the visitors took a 34-33 halftime lead on Van Loo’s short jumper right before the buzzer.

After a three-pointer by Tara Thompson gave the Seawolves a short-lived 38-37 advantage, the Pilots would roar back with seven straight points and finish the third quarter on a 16-4 run to take control. The Seawolves’ pressure defense whittled the deficit to 63-57 with 1:31 remaining, but Van Loo knocked down another midrange jumper to essentially seal the win on Portland’s next possession.

Sophomore forward Hannah Wandersee chipped in seven points and a team-high seven rebounds for the defending NCAA Div. II national runner-up Seawolves, while freshman point guard Yazmeen Goo collected six points and four assists.

UAA will face Missouri State in the tournament’s third-place game Wednesday at 2 p.m., followed by Portland against USC in the 4:30 p.m. title game.