DURHAM, N.C. - For the second time over the last six years, the Duke women’s basketball team will play in the Maggie Dixon Classic on Dec. 9, 2012 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. The Blue Devils will face St. John’s in a rematch of the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 contest from this past season.
The Maggie Dixon Classic honors the former Army women’s basketball coach who died in April 2006, of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first season as a head coach, where she led Army to its first NCAA berth.
The Blue Devils downed the Red Storm, 74-47, in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in March. In the contest, Duke shot 53.7 percent from the field and was led by senior Shay Selby with 18 points. Sophomore Tricia Liston added 15 points, while Chelsea Gray (13) and Elizabeth Williams (10) added double-figure scoring.
“We are so very pleased and honored to be a part of the Maggie Dixon Classic for the second time in six years,’’ said Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “Maggie’s incredible spirit, commitment and honor are forever a part of this event’’
Duke will return four starters in 2012-13, including Gray, Liston, Williams and Haley Peters. The Blue Devils will return 88.7 percent of their scoring next season as Duke loses only two seniors -- Selby and Kathleen Scheer. McCallie, who is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, enters her sixth season with the Blue Devils.
In the all-time series between Duke and St. John’s, the Blue Devils hold a 5-1 advantage. Duke last played in the Maggie Dixon Classic on Dec. 8, 2007 with the Blue Devils downing Pittsburgh, 51-49.
The inaugural Maggie Dixon Classic was held at Army in 2006 - a men’s and women’s doubleheader. The Pittsburgh men, coached by Maggie’s brother Jamie, beat Western Michigan, and Ohio State routed Army. The last six classics have been played at Madison Square Garden.
Along with games at Madison Square Garden, there’s a health and heart expo.