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American, P.R. 64, Arkansas 59

December 24, 1997

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ In the biggest upset in college basketball this season, Division II American-Puerto Rico defeated No. 12 Arkansas 64-59 on Wednesday in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.

Angel Paniagua scored 14 of his 15 points and grabbed 10 of his 12 rebounds in the second half for the host school, which sent Arkansas to its first loss of the season. Wilfredo Pagan finished with 22 points for American.

The Pirates (6-6), who upset Alabama during Thanksgiving, overcame a 25-9 deficit in the first half to win in the opening round of this tournament for the first time. The school is a branch of American University in Washington.

``They are much better than us,″ American coach Pep Carlos said. ``We did our job. Maybe they didn’t do theirs.″

American-PR will play the winner of the Michigan-Murray State game in the semifinals on Thursday.

``I’m really sure they’ll have a lot of problems playing with us,″ Carlos said.

Nick Davis had 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Razorbacks (8-1) while Tarik Wallace finished with 13 and Kareem Reid added 12. Derek Hood also had 12, all in the first half.

Arkansas led 40-30 at halftime but was limited to 19 points in the second half. The Razorbacks made it 53-53 with 7:10 left on Reid’s layup. However, Paniagua scored eight points in the final 5:47.

With 31 seconds to go, Arkansas had a chance to take the lead but Reid threw the ball away after driving to the basket. Paniagua made a layup and two free throws to seal the victory.

The Razorbacks led 40-25 with 1:50 left in the first half before American took the lead with a 23-2 spurt. The Pirates never trailed in the final 16:24.

Arkansas’ Pat Bradley kept alive his school record streak by making a 3-pointer for the 60th consecutive game. His only 3-pointer drew the Razorbacks to 60-59 with 1:30 remaining.

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