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Las Vegas women’s tournament loses Dayton, Purdue, Texas A&M

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LAS VEGAS – Three women’s basketball teams have withdrawn from a Las Vegas tournament amid the continuing fallout from a similar event at a Strip resort over Thanksgiving weekend, where security concerns were raised. raised.

Dayton, Purdue and Texas A&M are absent from the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena. Those schools, according to tournament operations director Bret Seymour, had agreed to be additions to his tournament in coordination with officials from Destination Basketball, which hosted the Las Vegas Invitational last month at the Mirage.

“We want to give our players the opportunity to play the game they love,” Texas A&M coach Joni Taylor said in a statement. “Given the circumstances surrounding the Las Vegas Invitational, we have decided to pull out of the tournament. We are so grateful to Purdue for accommodating and allowing us to host them” instead.

The Las Vegas Invitational encountered numerous problems, including a lack of on-site medical personnel, which led to Auburn rookie Kharyssa Richardson lying on the court for 50 minutes after falling hard and appearing to bump head before the arrival of paramedics.

Indiana coach Teri Moren considered not playing after Richardson’s injury, but the now No. 4 Hoosiers took to the court and beat Memphis 79-64. Moren said after the game that she thought women’s basketball “took a few steps backwards” due to tournament conditions that also included fans sitting in folding chairs rather than bleachers.

The Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic will be played Dec. 19-21 and will include Campbell, Cleveland State, Jacksonville State, Lindenwood and Utah Tech.

“The five teams that will be at South Point were five teams that we already had,” Seymour said. “To be honest, our other five are happy to have [the three that withdrew] are no longer there because they like it as a non-Power 5 event. We took those three to help out. Its good. It’s really better for us because they’re not here this year for this particular event.”

Sport Tours International organizes the South Point tournament as well as two others in Las Vegas, and it has overseen events in the city for 14 years.

Seymour said the three Power 5 teams found out they would be playing at South Point rather than the Mirage and decided to pull out.

“Destination Basketball had the contracts with Purdue, Texas A&M and Dayton,” Seymour said. “We didn’t. … We were surprised they claimed they didn’t know.”

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