July 8, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. - For the third-straight season, the St. John's women's basketball team was invited to play in the Maggie Dixon Classic, on Dec. 22, 2013 at Madison Square Garden. The eighth-annual event hosted by MSG Sports and the Dixon family, will feature St. John's vs. Texas A&M tipping off at 11 a.m., followed by a Connecticut vs. California match up.
A heart and health expo is held at Madison Square Garden along with the games.
Tickets for the doubleheader start at $20 and will be on sale at a later date. They will be available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster locations and online at www.thegarden.com.
The Maggie Dixon Classic is held annually in memory of the former Army Black Knights women's basketball coach. On April 6, 2006, 29-year-old Maggie Dixon died from an undiagnosed heart condition. Over the course of her six months as head coach at the United States Military Academy she led the program to unprecedented heights; the Black Knights played in their first Patriot League Championship and Dixon led her team to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
"For us to be chosen by the Garden and the Dixon family to play in this premier basketball event for the third year is such a tremendous honor," remarked head coach Joe Tartamella. "Whenever we get to play at Madison Square Garden, the "Mecca" of college basketball, it is a special moment for our program. The Maggie Dixon Classic is a prestigious event, for an even greater cause and played in the spirit and honor of an inspirational young coach, Maggie, who I was fortunate to briefly meet in 2006. Once again, we are honored to be playing with these great programs, UConn, Cal and Texas A&M. We will be happy to represent New York at the Garden as the local team."
The first Maggie Dixon Classic was played on Nov. 12, 2006 at West Point, N.Y. It featured a men's game, Pittsburgh vs. Western Michigan, as well as women's game, Army vs. Ohio State. The 2007 edition of the MDC was moved to Madison Square Garden.
With the announcement of the 2013 teams, 15 different women's squads have been invited to play in the Classic. Rutgers has participated in the Classic four times, the most of any of the 15 schools. By the second tip off on Dec. 22, 2013, St. John's will have played in the Classic three times, the second most, along with Connecticut and Army. The Red Storm, the local favorite, has been the only consistent team in the Maggie Dixon Classic over the past three seasons.
All four teams in this year's Maggie Dixon Classic competed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Red Storm received its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament bid and hosted Dayton in the First Round at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y. Texas A&M lost in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, but finished the season ranked No. 9/14 in the Top 25 polls.
The defending national champion Huskies finished the season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll. Connecticut defeated Louisville 93-60 in the NCAA Championship final. Cal, who will be making its first appearance in the Maggie Dixon Classic, advanced to the NCAA Tournament Final Four and finished the season ranked No. 6/5.
In the 2012 edition of the Maggie Dixon Classic, St. John's went up against Duke in a rematch of the 2012 Sweet 16 Fresno Regional. In 2011, the Red Storm went toe-to-toe with No. 1 Baylor in the first game of the double header. The Red Storm was leading the Bears going into the second half, but Baylor came back for the victory.