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A First at the Garden Earns an Encore – Queens and Immaculata Played in First Women’s Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden in 1975

The game is a distant but shining beacon, its significance magnified across four decades of growth. But the first women’s college basketball game at Madison Square Garden was initially just a showdown between fierce rivals, producing a winner, a loser and acute memories of how the result came about.

That was the whole point of the clash between Queens College and little Immaculata of Pennsylvania on Feb. 22, 1975: to demonstrate that women were ready — overdue, in fact — to compete anytime, anywhere, including on the country’s biggest basketball stage.

It turned out that people would even pay to watch.

It’s 2015 and tickets are still available. Are you in?

Maggie Dixon Classic
Presented by Advance Auto Parts 

Sunday, January 4 | 10:30 AM

Save 25% on Tickets!

This Sunday, the defending National Champion UConn Huskies will square off against the St. John’s Red Storm in the Maggie Dixon Classic, presented by Advance Auto Parts.

In the first game, Queens College takes on Immaculata University, commemorating the first women’s game at The Garden 40 years ago between these two teams.

Also, don’t miss the Heart Health Fair! Fans who take part in our “Game Plan for Healthy Living” will receive a free gift.

Use code LIBERTY to save 25% On Tickets!

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do you?

Maggie Dixon Classic, January 4th, Madison Square Garden. Look for me and 175 other folks in Section 11!

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Immaculata, Queens College to play

Madison Square Garden will honor the first women’s basketball game played at the arena 40 years ago with a rematch between Queens College and Immaculata as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic on Jan. 4.

Immaculata won the inaugural game 65-61 in front of 12,000 fans on Feb. 22, 1975.

“It was a defining moment for women’s basketball and for women in general,” said former WNBA president Donna Orender, who played for Queens College. “I can still hear Helen Reddy singing ‘I am woman hear me roar’ the crowd was screaming and tears rolled down my cheeks on the layup line. I was a freshman and so proud matching up against the more preeminent guard in the country — Marianne Crawford Stanley. It is so important we celebrate our heritage and history.”

Check out this program from the March, 1973 AIAW National Championship pitting Cathy Rush v. Lucille Kyvallos. Some teams just have a coach, some have a coahce and manager, and SOME have a coach, manager and…. chaperone!

From Newday, 2004″  – ‘We were pioneers’

A women’s college basketball team regularly packing gyms,getting media coverage and making trips to Madison Square Garden. If you’re thinking of the women’s teams from the universities of Connecticut or Tennessee – who are in the Final Four tonight in New Orleans – you’re wrong.

The school was Queens College, and the years were 1968- 1980. During this period, the Lady Knights ruled New York and became the first women’s team from the city to compete in a national tournament. They were ranked in the top 10 nationwide from 1972-1978 – finishing second in 1973 – and in 1975 became the first women’s team to play at the Garden.

FYI, considering the USA WNT is doin’ the FIBA thing: Kyvallos was U.S. team’s head coach at the 1977 World University Games and Rush coached the 1975 USA Basketball Pan American team.

Speakin’ of the FIBA thing – I got my visa and so do DT and Candice. They weren’t much help against the Aussies but, luckily, other folks stepped up.

From (I’m guessing) Doug: 

Candace Parker is out. So is Sylvia Fowles. Brittney Griner is questionable. And now Elena Delle Donne is a no-go.

With a series of injuries to several post players on the U.S. women’s national basketball team, the heavily favored Americans have suddenly been cut down to size as they prepare for the world championship that begin Sept. 27 in Istanbul.

It’s a new challenge for USA Basketball. Veteran post play has long been a strong suit, from Anne Donovan to Yolanda Griffith and Lisa Leslie.

Might be some bad news for Liz and the Opals.

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from Mel: St. Joseph’s Dials 700 Wins Capturing Own Tourney

On Jan. 17, 1974 two years after the Congressional passage of Title IX, St Joseph’s University took the floor against Immaculata, the UConn of its time in women’s collegiate competition, and promptly got smacked in its then-called Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse by the Cathy Rush-coached Mighty Macs 59-24.

Three days later on Jan. 20, showing the resiliency of its mantra “The Hawk Will Never Die,” the team returned for another home game and met another local rival, routing Manor 67-30.

“We were playing so well I went home at the half,” assistant athletic director Ellen Ryan joked Wednesday afternoon of her one-year coaching stint on Hawk Hill.

Ryan’s comments came an hour before Cindy Griffin, a St. Joseph’s star of the late 1980s-early 1990s, guided her own alma mater to an easy 75-40 win over Lafayette to capture the Hawk Classic and post the 700th victory in the history of the women’s program.

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