GNAC Insider Podcast: Battista, Breen & Shaw
The 2016 NCAA Women's Basketball Championships will include the final games from all three levels at the same location for the first time in history.
The 2016 NCAA Women's Basketball Championships will include the final games from all three levels at the same location for the first time in history.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Episode 82 of the weekly online radio show – GNAC Insider – aired on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Pacific time. The episode featured NCAA Championships and Alliances postgraduate assistant Lauren Battista, Montana State Billings forward Alisha Breen and Western Oregon head men’s basketball coach Jim Shaw.

Battista is a member of the NCAA Championships and Alliances staff. She is a former women’s basketball player at Division II Bentley (Mass.), where she led her team to the national title in 2014. This year, Battista has helped with the NCAA’s AlumNation initiative, which is in celebration of 35 years of women’s basketball championships. For the first time ever, the NCAA will host all three of its divisional championships at the same location: Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. As a part of the initiative, the NCAA will welcome alumni to celebrate the past 35 seasons. Battista spoke about the AlumNation initiative, how it began and how to attend the event.

Breen is a junior forward for the Montana State Billings women’s basketball team. She is tied for the GNAC lead, averaging 17.2 points per game while pulling down 5.8 rebounds per contest. Breen has helped lead the Yellowjackets to a 15-7 overall record and 11-3 in GNAC play. The Yellowjackets are in third place in the standings with six games remaining. This week, Montana State Billings hosts Western Oregon on the ROOT SPORTS GNAC Basketball Game of the Week. Tip off for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time. The Yellowjackets also host Concordia on Saturday. Breen spoke about leading the GNAC in scoring, the Yellowjackets impressive season to this point and playing on ROOT SPORTS on Thursday.

Shaw is in his first season as head coach of the Western Oregon men’s basketball team, leading the Wolves to a 20-2 overall record and 13-1 in conference. He joins the Wolves with over 25 years of experience in Division I men’s basketball, including time as an assistant coach at Washington, St. Mary’s (Calif.) and Oklahoma. Shaw is also an alum of WOU, where he enjoyed an All-American playing career. Western Oregon enters the week on an 11-game winning streak, and ranked No. 1 in the West Region Poll for the ninth straight week. The Wolves are coming on two road victories this week, defeating Saint Martin’s 74-62 on Thursday and No. 19/21 ranked Seattle Pacific 84-82 in overtime on Saturday. Western Oregon hosts Western Washington and Simon Fraser this week. Shaw spoke about coaching his alma mater, the team being ranked No. 1 in the nation in both the media and coaches polls and facing Western Washington on Thursday.

GNAC Insider is hosted by Rob Lowery airing live at 7 p.m. Pacific every Tuesday and is produced by the conference office. All episodes become available as free podcasts via iTunes. To listen to archived episodes go to GNAC.TV.