The Muskingum College Memorial Tournament honors two members of the 1989-90 women’s basketball team. On November 18, 1989, a van in which the women were traveling to the first game of the season was struck by a tractor trailer on an icy patch of interstate highway. The accident took the lives of two students and hospitalized five others.
Killed were Mary “Rose” Smith, a 20-year-old sophomore from Coshocton, and Michelle Simpson, an 18-year-old freshman from Bristolville. Smith was serving her second year as a student assistant with the team; Simpson was expected to back up the center position.
Following the accident, the season was temporarily suspended and resumed with this tournament, formerly the Muskingum Invitational Tournament.