Entering its 37th edition, the GCI Great Alaska Shootout women’s tournament has established a tradition of its own as one of the premier events in the game.

This year’s Shootout marks the 18th straight year that a four-team women’s tourney is part of the November action.

After hosting the Northern Lights Invitational women’s basketball tournament from 1980 to 1997, UAA was forced to suspend the tournament due to a significant round of budget reductions in the summer of 1998. The hiatus lasted only one year, though, and in 1999 the NLI was reborn in the form of the Shootout.

And so it is that this year’s women’s Shootout field of host Alaska Anchorage, Missouri State, Portland and USC will carry on the tradition of the Northern Lights – a tournament with a storied history of its own.

The NLI opened as a four-team tournament in late March of 1980. In 1981 the tournament doubled in size to eight teams and remained that way through 1992. After changing to a four-team, round-robin format for two seasons, the NLI and UAA went back to hosting seven visiting teams until 1997.

One of the problems the NLI faced through the years was to find a consistent home on the calendar as NCAA women’s basketball expanded and organized along more traditional conference lines. The tournament dates were moved from March to February in 1982 to avoid conflicting with postseason play. The tournament later moved to January and then, in 1994, moved once again to December in order to attract the best NCAA Division I teams available.

Over the years the NLI also moved homes three times, being held at both the Wells Fargo Sports Complex (1980-82, 1986-97) and Sullivan Arena (1983-85, 1999-2013).

Through the years some of the top women’s collegiate basketball teams have played in the event – most notably the 1997 appearance and championship of a Tennessee Lady Volunteers team that featured All-American Chamique Holdsclaw. Other top teams have included Clem­son, Georgia, Iowa, Purdue, Old Domi­nion, Texas, Penn State, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina and Stanford.

The 1986 field rates as one of the best in the tourney’s history as three teams – USC, Northeast Loui­si­ana and Western Kentucky were all ranked in the top 20 that year. The ’86 event also featured USC’s Cheryl Miller, the most heralded women’s player of her time.

Like their male counterparts, the host UAA women’s basketball team has always been the lone NCAA Division II team in the tournament. And although the men have fared well in the Shootout, they have yet to win it – an impressive feat the women have pulled six times (1990, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

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Women's All-Time Champions / Runners-Up / MOPs

Year  Champion              Runner-up        Score     Most Outstanding Player
1980  Iowa                  Alaska Anchorage 73-52     Cindy Haugejordge (Iowa)
1981  San Diego State       Houston          50-41     Diena Pels (SDSU)
1982  Minnesota             Indiana          70-66     Laura Coenen (Minnesota)
1983  Old Dominion          Wichita State    76-53     Lorri Bauman (Drake)
1984  Texas                 UNLV             82-60     Annette Smith (Texas)
1985  Louisiana Tech        Penn State       88-69     Dawn Royster (N. Carolina)
1986  Northeast Louisiana   Southern Cal     70-68     Lisa Ingram (NE La.)
1987  New Orleans           Memphis State    84-61     Kunshinge Sorrell (Miss. State)
1988  South Carolina        UNLV             98-97 OT  Martha Parker (USC)
1989  Stephen F. Austin     Old Dominion     96-81     Connie Cole (SFA)
1990  Alaska Anchorage      South Alabama    88-87     Diane Dobrich (UAA)
1991  Northern Illinois     Louisville       63-60     Lisa Foss (NIU)
1992  Penn State            Mo.-Kansas City  83-62     Susan Robinson (PSU)
1993  Hawaii                SMU              RR**      Valerie Agee (Hawaii)
1994* Rhode Island          NE Louisiana     RR**      Dayna Smith (URI)
1994* Clemson               UCLA             79-62     Tara Saunooke (Clemson)
1995  South Carolina        Arizona State    83-71     Shannon Johnson (USC)
1996  Georgia               Oregon           72-55     Tracy Henderson (UGa)
1997  Tennessee             Wisconsin        87-66     Chamique Holdsclaw (UT)
1998  No Tournament
1999  Kansas                Louisville       78-68     Lynn Pride (Kansas)
2000  Ohio State            Rhode Island     95-60     Jamie Lewis (OSU)
2001  Iowa                  Gonzaga          90-73     Lindsey Meder (Iowa)
2002  Nevada                Indiana          68-56     Laura Ingham (Nevada)
2003  Alaska Anchorage      Clemson          61-58     Kamie Jo Massey (UAA)
2004  Stanford              La.-Lafayette    67-47     Candice Wiggins (Stanford)
2005  Cent. Connecticut St. Arizona          69-65 OT  Gabriella Guegbelet, (CCSU)
2006  Alaska Anchorage      UC Riverside     72-67     Rebecca Kielpinski (UAA)
2007  Alaska Anchorage      Santa Clara      52-50     Rebecca Kielpinski (UAA)
2008  Alaska Anchorage      Syracuse         58-57     Rebecca Kielpinski (UAA)
2009  Alaska Anchorage      Cincinnati       49-48     Nicci Miller (UAA)
2010  Kent State            Alaska Anchorage 53-47     Jamilah Humes (Kent State)
2011  Miami, Fla.           South Florida    92-72     Shenise Johnson (Miami)
2012  Utah State            Alaska Anchorage 67-57     Devyn Christiansen (Utah State)
2013  Georgetown            Alaska Anchorage 92-78     Andrea White (Georgetown)
2014  Long Beach State      Alaska Anchorage 69-60     Megan Mullings (UAA)
2015  Western Kentucky      Alaska Anchorage 62-58     Kendall, Noble (Western Kentucky)
* = 1994 tourneys played in Jan. & Dec., respectively
RR** = 4-team round robin format


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GCI Great Alaska Shootout
Women's All-Time Participants

School                  Record  Year(s)
Air Force                  1-1  2006
Akron                      1-2  1997
Alabama Birmingham         1-2  1987
Alaska Anchorage         36-54  ALL
Alaska Fairbanks           1-2  1981
Appalachian State          2-1  1991
Arizona                    1-1  2005
Arizona State              4-2  1982, 95
Arkansas                   2-1  1982
Arkansas State             1-2  1988
Army                       0-3  1994

Baylor                     2-4  1988, 92
Boise State                2-3  1990, 14
Boston College             1-2  1996
Bradley                    0-2  2007
Brigham Young              2-3  1996, 03
Butler                     0-2  2006

Cal State Northridge       0-2  2008
Central Connecticut State  2-0  2005
Central Michigan           1-1  2011
Cincinnati                 1-1  2009
Clemson                    4-1  1994, 03
Cleveland State            1-1  2007
Coastal Carolina           1-1  2009

Drake                      2-1  1983

Eastern Kentucky           0-2  2002
Eastern Washington         1-1  2004

Florida State              1-2  1984
Fordham                    0-3  1988
Furman                     1-1  2005

George Mason               1-1  2015
Georgetown                 2-0  2013
Georgia                    3-0  1996
Georgia State              2-4  1984, 91
Georgia Tech               5-4  1983, 90, 94
Gonzaga                    2-3  1987, 01

Hawaii                     7-2  1981, 85, 93
Holy Cross                 1-2  1995
Houston                    2-1  1981

Idaho                      2-1  1984
Indiana                    3-2  1982, 02
Iona                       2-1  1986
Iowa                       4-0  1980, 01

Jackson State              1-1  2008

Kansas                     2-0  1999
Kent State                 2-0  2010

Long Beach State           2-0  2014
Louisiana Lafayette        1-1  2004
Louisiana Tech             3-0  1985
Louisville                 4-4  1985, 91, 99
Loyola Marymount           1-5  1985, 95

Manhattan                  2-1  1997
Marist                     0-3  1995
Marquette                  2-3  1992, 01
Memphis State              2-1  1987
Mercer                     1-2  1996
Miami, Fla.                5-3  1984, 87, 2011
Minnesota                  3-0  1982
Mississippi                2-1  1997
Mississippi State          2-1  1987
Missouri-Kansas City       2-1  1992
Monmouth                   0-3  1989
Montana State              1-2  1994
Mount St. Mary’s           0-2  2003

Nevada                     2-2  1980, 02
Nevada-Las Vegas           4-2  1984, 88
New Mexico                 1-2  1981
New Mexico State           1-2  1991
New Orleans                5-1  1987, 92
Nicholls                   0-2  2013
North Carolina             2-1  1985
North Carolina-Greensboro  1-2  1994
North Dakota State         1-1  2012
Northeast Louisiana        5-1  1986, 94
Northeastern Illinois      0-3  1993
Northern Arizona           1-4  1991, 99
Northern Illinois          3-0  1991
Notre Dame                 1-2  1981

Ohio State                 2-0  2000
Old Dominion               5-1  1983, 89
Oregon                     2-1  1996

Penn State                 5-1  1985, 92
Pennsylvania               1-2  1983
Pepperdine                 1-7  1984, 97, 2015
Portland State             1-2  1989
Prairie View A&M           0-2  2012
Providence                 3-3  1989, 94
Purdue                     2-1  1981

Radford                    0-3  1987
Rhode Island               4-1  1994, 00

Sacramento State           2-1  1992
San Diego                  1-2  1986
San Diego State            5-1  1981, 89
San Francisco              0-3  1982

San Jose State             0-2  2010
Santa Clara                1-1  2007
South Alabama              2-1  1990
South Carolina             6-0  1988, 95
South Florida              1-4  1983, 2011
Southeastern Louisiana     0-3  1992
Southern California        2-1  1986
Southern Methodist         4-5  1986, 90, 93
Southern Utah              0-3  1990
Stanford                   3-2  1983, 04
Stephen F. Austin          3-0  1989
Syracuse                   1-1  2008

Temple                     2-1  1990
Tennessee                  3-0  1997
Texas                      3-0  1984
Texas A&M                  1-2  1997
Texas-El Paso              2-1  1989
Texas-San Antonio          1-2  1991
Toledo                     2-1  1996
Tulane                     2-1  1995

UC Riverside               2-2  2006, 13
UCLA                       2-1  1994
U.S. International         1-2  1988
Utah State                 3-5  1982, 86, 2012

Valparaiso                 1-1  2000

Wake Forest                1-2  1990
Washington                 2-3  1982, 2010
Weber State                2-1  1986
Western Carolina           0-2  2009
Western Kentucky           6-2  1986, 88, 2015
Wichita State              2-1  1983
William & Mary             2-1  1994
Wisconsin                  2-1  1997
Wyoming                    1-1  1980

Xavier                     2-1  1995

Yale                       0-5  1985, 14

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Women's Shootout Teams Qualifying for that Year's NCAA Tournament

1980 & 1981: No NCAA Women's Tournament

1982 (1): Arizona State

1983 (1): Old Dominion**

1984 (2): Nevada-Las Vegas, Texas*

1985 (3): Louisiana Tech*, North Carolina, Penn State

1986 (3): Alaska Anchorage, Southern Cal***, Western Kentucky**

1987 (2): Memphis State, New Orleans

1988 (3): Alaska Anchorage, South Carolina, Western Kentucky

1989 (4): Alaska Anchorage, Old Dominion, Providence, Stephen F. Austin

1990 (0)

1991 (2): Appalachian State, Northern Illinois

1992 (2): Alaska Anchorage, Penn State

1993 (0)

1994 (1): Alaska Anchorage

1994-95 (0)

1995-96 (2): Holy Cross, Tulane

1996-97 (3): Georgia*, Oregon, Toledo

1997-98 (2): Tennessee****, Wisconsin

1999-00 (2): Alaska Anchorage, Kansas

2000-01 (0)

2001-02 (1): Iowa

2002-03 (0)

2003-04 (0)

2004-05 (1): Stanford*

2005-06 (0)

2006-07 (2): Alaska Anchorage, UC Riverside

2007-08 (2): Alaska Anchorage**, Cleveland State
2008-09 (1): Alaska Anchorage**
2009-10 (1): Alaska Anchorage
2010-11 (1): Alaska Anchorage
2011-12 (2): Alaska Anchorage*, Miami (Fla.)
2012-13 (0)
2013-14 (1): Alaska Anchorage
2014-15 (2): Alaska Anchorage, Boise State
2015-16 (1): Alaska Anchorage***

*Elite 8 Qualifier
**Final 4 Qualifier
***NCAA Runner-Up
****NCAA Champion