ANCHORAGE Jayci Stone and Rebecca Kielpinski both posted double-doubles Tuesday as the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team kicked off the 2006 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout with a 62-60 upset of Air Force at Sullivan Arena.

 

The win puts the Seawolves (3-0) in Wednesday’s 5 p.m. AST championship game against UC Riverside. Air Force (1-2) was led by 20 points and five rebounds from Anchorage native Letricia Castillo in her hometown return.

 

For UAA, it was the 24th all-time victory over a Division I team in the Shootout and its first since 2003 when the host school won its second title. It will be UAA’s fourth all-time appearance in the championship game.

 

After falling behind 30-19 late in the first half, the Falcons closed the gap on the Division II Seawolves and got a buzzer-beating three from Pamela Findlay (8 pts, 7 rebounds) to make it 32-29.

 

The game featured 12 ties overall and eight lead changes in the second half alone.

 

UAA went up 52-50 at the 3:10 mark when Air Force coach Ardie McInelly was whistled for a technical and Stone (21 pts, 10 rebounds) sank a pair of free throws. The Falcons took the lead right back with a steal and a traditional three-point play by Castillo seconds later, setting up a back-and-forth final flurry.

 

Tied 57-57, Stone found Jennifer Salazar (9 pts) for a fast-break layup with 58 seconds left as the Sullivan crowd exploded. Air Force, of the Mountain West Conference, declined to call timeout and quickly found Findlay in the corner for another trey to put her team ahead 60-59 with 41 seconds to play.

 

After a timeout, UAA got the ball inside to Kielpinski (16 pts, 12 rebounds) and the Seawolves’ star sophomore center found herself open from about 8 feet in the lane and swished the eventual game-winner with 22 seconds to go.

 

Air Force again went without a timeout and point guard Lauren Henderson drove the lane in the closing seconds. The Seawolf defense was there to stop the penetration, however, as Henderson’s short-range attempt from the baseline was blocked by UAA’s Tenecia Lockard and went out of bounds to the home team.

 

Salazar sank one of two free throws with under a second left for the final margin.

 

Stone (5-12 FG, 3-6 3FG 8-8 FT) was named Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game, while Lockard finished with six points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

 

Wednesday’s championship game will be broadcast live over the internet at GoSeawolves.com (pay-per-view, both TV & audio), and a replay will be shown on Anchorage’ KCFT Ch. 35 (GCI cable 19) at 9 p.m.