Notre Dame to host Maryland in Fort Wayne

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News release from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum:

Notre Dame To Host Maryland In 2014 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge in Fort Wayne
Fighting Irish and Terrapins to replay 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four matchup on December 3

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (June 4, 2014) — Eight months after they met in the NCAA Women’s Final Four, Notre Dame and Maryland will square off again on December 3 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., in one of the featured games of the eighth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, it was announced Wednesday by both the ACC and Big Ten conference offices.

The exact tip time and broadcast coverage (television and broadband) will be announced at a later date, with this game to be included among Notre Dame’s season ticket package and single-game tickets to go on sale in late September or early October.

Rhe Fighting Irish, who will play this “off-site” home game in Fort Wayne due to a facility conflict at Purcell Pavilion (the Notre Dame-Michigan State men’s basketball game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be the same night), are slated to make their third visit to the Summit City, but first since Jan. 24, 1979, when they defeated IPFW, 49-41 during Notre Dame’s second season of varsity competition.

“We are very excited to be working with Notre Dame again, to host this national women’s college basketball event in Fort Wayne,” said Memorial Coliseum Executive Vice President and General Manager, Randy L. Brown. “We have had a long relationship with the Fighting Irish and are thrilled to be hosting another event and we hope it is one of many more to come in the future.”

Notre Dame athletics is no stranger to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, having served as the host school for a pair of post season events. In 2004, Notre Dame played a men’s basketball NIT second-round game against Saint Louis at the Coliseum, posting a 77-66 win. In 2010, Notre Dame played host to the NCAA Midwest Regional hockey championship in Fort Wayne, with Miami (Ohio) earning a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four.

“What a great opportunity to play in front of some of our outstanding fans from not only the Fort Wayne area, but all of eastern Indiana and western Ohio,” Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said. “We’re going to be centrally located within about a two-hour drive of not only the Notre Dame campus and South Bend community, but also the hometowns of two of our players (sophomore forward and Fishers, Ind., native Taya Reimer, and freshman forward and Kettering, Ohio, product Kathryn Westbeld), not to mention that terrific crowd support we had during our NCAA first- and second-round games in Toledo last March.

“Notre Dame has had such a great partnership with the (Allen County War Memorial) Coliseum for many years, especially with all the tremendous work they’ve done to help us put on the men’s NIT game and NCAA hockey regional in the past decade,” McGraw added. “We’ve been exploring the possibility of playing down there for a while, and we’re thrilled to be able to make this happen with such a high-profile event.”

Notre Dame is beginning its second season in the ACC, while Maryland starts a new association with the Big Ten on July 1. The Fighting Irishand Terrapins will be meeting for the ninth time, with the all-time series deadlocked at 4-4. The teams met twice last year, with Notre Dame winning on both occasions — 87-83 in the regular season at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md., and 87-61 in the NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinals at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

“We had two really entertaining games with Maryland last year and I would expect that this year’s game will probably be more of the same,” McGraw said. “They are a well-coached and talented team and it should be an exciting matchup.”

The ACC and Big Ten conference offices determine the Challenge schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge rotates each year, with the 2014 event to be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, continuing to mirror the official title of the two conferences’ Challenge agreement for men’s basketball.

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