Queens College’s Lady Knights emerged victorious in the Maggie Dixon Classic at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, on Jan. 4. They faced Immaculata’s Mighty Macs to honor the first women’s basketball game that took place at MSG on Feb. 22, 1975.
40 years ago, Immaculata defeated Queens College 65-61. This time the Lady Knights were looking for revenge.
Junior Mackenzie Rowland started the game with a lay-up assisted from her younger sister, sophomore Madison Rowland. The Knights then went on to take a 25-14 lead with 4:30 to go in the first half.
The Mighty Macs fought their way back with a 10-0 run to close out the half. The score was 25-24 heading into the second half.
During halftime, there was a ceremony to honor the woman who participated in the historical game 40 years ago.
In the second half, Immaculata immediately took the lead. From this point on, however, the Lady Knights took control of the game. The team went on to score 51 points in the second half. This explosive second half led them to a 76-60 victory.
Madison Rowland was able to take advantage of Immaculata’s lack of size and finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds including six offensive rebounds. This was her eighth double-double of the year. She finished one point shy of tying the all time record for most points in the Maggie Dixon Classic.
According to Rowland, there was nothing like playing at MSG; however she didn’t allow the big stage to faze her.
“When we were warming up it was so surreal. The environment, I wasn’t used to, but when we started playing I canceled everything out and I was just playing ball,” said Rowland.
Coach Bet Naumovski is in her fourth season coaching the team and motivated the team to the come out strong in the second half.
“We said this is our moment [and] this is our time. You’re never going to experience this again and, when it’s all said and done, you’re going to be able to say you played at MSG and most college women’s basketball players can’t say that,” said Naumovski.
Work hard for 40 minutes and whatever happens. This is your time, your day and just go for it.”
The Lady Knights dominated the battle in the paint 50-14.
Madison felt the team did their job to avenge the loss from 40 years ago.
“It was getting revenge for losing this game 40 years ago…40 years ago the game was so close, they were so close to winning it but we got it back for them,” said Rowland.
This game was more than just about the game; it was about celebrating history. The Maggie Dixon Classic honors the late Army Coach Maggie Dixon, who passed away due to an enlarged heart.
Throughout the day a heart health fair was held to spread knowledge of the heart health.
The win was the team’s fifth a row and improved their record to 8-2. Currently, the Knights have won 8 out of 11 games to a record of 16-5.