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Cranes advance to USBL semifinals
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Cranes advance to USBL semifinals

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DODGE CITY, Kan. - With a 32-point third quarter, the Nebraska Cranes flew to a 104-97 victory over Long Island Primetime in the quarterfinals of the United States Basketball League's Post-Season Championship Tournament Friday in Dodge City, Kan

Alex Sanders led the Cranes, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He was one of five Cranes players in double figures as the Cranes advanced to today's (Saturday's) 5 p.m. semifinal where they will take on the Oklahoma Storm.

Oklahoma defeated Albany 97-92 in the second semifinal game on Friday. In the other side of the bracket, the Midwest Division made it a clean sweep with the Kansas Cagerz beating the Brooklyn Kings 118-107 and the Dodge City Legend beating the Northeast Pennsylvania Breakers 101-83.

After putting on a shooting clinic in their regular-season finale at the Kearney Event Center, the Cranes shot just 43 percent from the floor while falling behind 54-46 in the first half Friday night.

They warmed up a little bit in the second half, but more importantly, cooled off the Primetime, who shot 53 percent in the first half and only 39 percent the second half.

The Primetime were 1-of-11 from 3-point range in the second half after making all three of their shots behind the arc in the first half.

Jason Smith joined Sanders in double figures with 21 points, while Rickie Shields had 20, Elvin Mims 17 and Lincoln Glass 14.

John Thomas and Garnett Thompson led Long Island with 19 points each.

The championship of the tournament is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.

NEBRASKA 104, LONG ISLAND 97

NEBRASKA

Ricky Shields 6-17 4-6 20, Lincoln Glass 4-9 5-7 14, Jason Smith 10-21 1-2 21, Alex Sanders 8-15 7-9 23, Courtney James 1-3 2-2 4, Elvin Mims 7-15 2-4 16, Rory O'Neal 1-1 0-0 2 George Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Chris Garnett 1-4 2-2 4. Total 38-86 23-32 104.

LONG ISLAND

John Thomas 6-12 5-5 19, Fabian Pinnock 1-4 1-2 3, Garnett Thompson 7-14 4-5 19, Khaehif Hameed 3-11 1-2 7, Roberto Gittens 5-9 2-5 12, Tristan Smith 2-2 2-2 7, Rob Lewin 1-4 1-2 3, Rashad Bell 5-10 4-7 14, Fred Williams 5-11 3-3 13. Total 35-77 23-33 97.

Score by Quarters

NEBRASKA 28 18 32 26 - 104

LONG ISLAND 24 28 19 26 - 97

3-point goals - NC 5-12 (Shields 4-8, Glass 1-3, Smith 0-1), LI 4-14 (Thomas 2-6, Smith 1-1, Thompson 1-3, Williams 0-3, Bell 0-1). Rebounds - NC 48 (Sanders 10), LI 49 (Thompson 9, Lewin 9). Assists - NC 17 (Glass 6), LI 12 (Bell 3, Williams 3). Turnovers - NC 16, LI 28. Blocked shots - NC 2 (Smith, Mims), LI 8 (Thompson 3). Steals - NC 15 (Smith 4), LI 8 (Thomas 2).

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