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HOUSTON (AP) - Aaric Murray scored 16 points - all but one after halftime - D.D. Scarver added 14 and Madarious Gibbs 12 as second-seeded Texas Southern bolted to an early lead and defeated the No. 3 seed Alabama State 73-61 in a Southwest Conference tournament semifinal on Friday.

The Tigers (18-14), winners of eight in a row, advance to Saturday s title game.

After gaining the lead for good just six minutes in, Texas Southern survived 18 turnovers, and nine Alabama State steals to lead comfortably throughout, shooting 50 percent. Scarver, a freshman who didn t play until February, scored 11 after halftime with eight rebounds. Gibbs scored 10 in the second half with seven assists.

Jamel Waters led the Hornets (19-12) with 21 points.

The Tigers scored 11 of 14 at the line in the last 3 minutes, Murray sinking 7 of 8 in that span.

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