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Texas-Pan American 61, South Alabama 48

March 2, 1996

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Lalo Rios made a 3-pointer to end a 6 1/2-minute drought and then came up with a steal that led to a layup as Texas-Pan American beat South Alabama 61-48 Friday night in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Rios’ basket with 6:32 to play put the Broncs (9-18) in front 45-36. It was Pan American’s first field goal since Linwood Bonner drove the lane for a 41-27 advantage with 13:15 to play. South Alabama (12-15) outscored Pan American 7-1 during the next three minutes, but then missed four free throws.

Rios’ 3-pointer made it 45-36. He swiped the ball and fed Kelon Haynie for a basket and Sedat Necipoglu added a short jumper for a 13-point advantage.

Haynie led the Broncs with 14 points. Rios made 5-of-6 shots and scored 13 off the bench. Bonner also scored 13. Mark Neal, who sat out four minutes of the second half with a muscle spasm, led South Alabama with 13. Russell McCutcheon scored 12 and Brandon Peterson added 10.