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Murray, Scarver combine for 30; Texas Southern romps into title game, 73-61 over Alabama St.

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    Texas Southern's Aaric Murray (24) celebrates with Madarious Gibbs (3) after Texas Southern defeated Alabama State in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference men's tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, in Houston. Texas Southern won 73-61. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The Associated Press

  • SWAC Texas Southern Alabama St Basketball-2.jpg

    Texas Southern's D.D. Scarver yells after making a 3-point basket against Alabama State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, in Houston. Texas Southern won 73-61. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The Associated Press

  • SWAC Texas Southern Alabama St Basketball-3.jpg

    Texas Southern's Aaric Murray (24) is fouled by Alabama State's Tony Armstrong during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, in Houston. Texas Southern won 73-61. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The Associated Press

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    Texas Southern's Ray Penn (14) shoots as Alabama State's Luther Page defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, March 14, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The Associated Press

  • b0644ae74c57760a4e0f6a706700539d.jpg

    Texas Southern's Ray Penn (14) shoots as Alabama State's Luther Page defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, March 14, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The Associated Press

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.