Fairbanks, Alaska – Alaska women’s basketball head coach Cody Burgess-Bench announced the field for the 2013 North Star Invitational today, which is set to take place over Thanksgiving, Nov. 28-30 at the Patty Center.
Joining the Nanooks in the annual three-day, six-game event will be Dominican (Calif.) out of the Pacific West Conference, Lees-McRae from the Conference Carolinas and Wayne State, which competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“I like the field and I think it’s going to be competitive,” Burgess-Bench said. “It offers a West Region team with Dominican, a nationally-ranked team with Wayne State and broadens our competitive scope by playing a team from the south, Lees McRae. We like the idea of bringing in teams from different places far away as well as within our region to help our schedule.”
Alaska rounded out the 2012-13 season with a 5-21 mark and 3-15 mark in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play after winning three of its final four games to end the year. In last year’s NSI, the Nanooks fell in all three games while the opponents combined to finish the year 51-42 (.548). Anderson, which finished second in the tournament, went 23-8 and won the South Atlantic Conference and will be the No. 3 seed in this week’s NCAA Southeast Regional in Georgia.
Dominican wrapped up the season 5-21 with a 4-14 mark in the PacWest to finish 13th in the conference standings. The Penguins played four opponents the Nanooks faced this year in Academy of Art, Cal State East Bay, Northwest Nazarene and Saint Martin’s. DU will be returning to the NSI for the second time in four years, having competed at the 2010 event.
Lees-McRae went 9-16 this past season with a 7-15 mark in CCA play to place 10th in the league. The Bobcats become the third school in three years to come from either North or South Carolina to compete at the North Star. Last season, Anderson out of Anderson, S.C., went 2-1 and Lenoir-Rhyne won the tournament in 2011.
Wayne State’s season has not ended yet as it went 20-8 with a 17-5 mark in GLIAC play and advanced to the tournament semifinals. This past weekend, the Warriors earned the No. 6 seed in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Ohio and will face conference foe and No. 3 seed Findlay on Friday afternoon.
“We like teams that really want to compete and understand this is more of an experience,” Burgess-Bench said. “You get the feel of being in Alaska and you celebrate Thanksgiving as well as being in a tournament. It’s really an overall environment of fun and competition and hopefully life long memories for the players who participate.”
For more information, visit the North Star Invitational tournament page. More information, including ticket prices, will be released as it becomes available.
Thursday, Nov. 28 (Session 1)
Wayne State vs. Lees-McRae
Dominican (CA) vs. AlaskaFriday, Nov. 29 (Session 2)
Dominican (CA) vs. Wayne State
Lees-McRae vs. AlaskaSaturday, Nov. 30 (Session 3)
Lees-McRae vs. Dominican (CA)
Wayne State vs. Alaska
***Times to be announced soon***