2014-12-24 / Features

WNBA Commemorative Rematch Coming To MSG

Nearly 40 years after the first-ever women’s basketball game pitted Queens College against Immaculata, these teams will see each other in court – at worldfamous Madison Square Garden. Their commemorative rematch will take place on Jan. 4, 2015, at 10:30 a.m., in the opening round of the annual Maggie Dixon Classic.

Trailblazing members of the 1974-75 team will attend the game.QC’s 1974–75 squad featured Gail Marquis and Donna Orender, and was coached by Lucille Kyvallos. Marquis earned a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics as a member of the US team and Orender would later become commissioner of the WNBA; Kyvallos was inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. All three were named to the inaugural class of the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

A doubleheader that honors Maggie Dixon – who died of a heart condition following her first season as head coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point – the Dixon classic is the nation’s premier regular-season tournament in women’s basketball. The event includes a Health and Heart Expo.

In an appropriate nod to the legacy of women’s basketball, Dixon, and the advancement of Title IX, the QC Knights and Immaculata Mighty Macs will renew a rivalry that provided a seminal moment in sports: On Feb. 22, 1975, the two sides faced each other at the Garden before a crowd of 11,969 fans, the first time that women’s basketball was played there. Immaculata won the original matchup, 65-61.

QC comes off a 2013-14 season that saw it win 20 games, advance to the ECC Semi-Final, and have two players reach All Met status. The team also posted the 15th-best turnaround in Division II from the previous season.

In the second game of the day, St. John’s takes on the defending national champions, UConn. Tickets are available on the website www.queensknights.com/msg and are good for both games.

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