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Va. Commonwealth 75, East Carolina 60

March 3, 1996

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Ben Peabody and Ivan Chappell combined for a run of timely steals and scores Sunday as Virginia Commonwealth rallied to beat East Carolina 75-60 in a Colonial Athletic Association tournament semifinal.

The Pirates had pulled within five points of the Rams at the start of the second half when Chappell hit a 3-pointer, then made a steal to set up a Peabody score.

Peabody followed with his own steal and scored again, putting the Pirates into a double-digit disadvantage they were never able to overcome.

Virginia Commonwealth (23-8, 16-2 CAA) was led in scoring by Bernard Hopkins with 16 points. Patrick Lee added 13, and Peabody finished with 12.

Tim Basham paced East Carolina (17-11, 9-9 CAA) with 12 points, and Othello Meadows added 11.

The Rams fell behind at the start of the game, trailing 12-2 after the first four minutes. But the Pirates hit a cold streak, getting only one 3-pointer by Basham over the next eight minutes.

Baskets by Peabody, Marcus Reed and George Byrd helped the Rams catch up, and Hopkins put Virginia Commonwealth in front for keeps with 7 1/2 minutes to play in the half.

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