Hagins, Delaware outlast Drexel in double OT


Hagins, Delaware outlast Drexel in double OT


NEWARK, Del. -- Jamelle Hagins had had enough. Already with 14 points, 18 rebounds and 42 minutes on the floor, he wanted no more.

The clock read 3.7 seconds late in the second overtime against Drexel with Delaware up by two. Drexel's inbounds pass went to Frantz Massenat, who took the ball upcourt for the Dragons, drove the lane and got off a decent, yet off-balance, shot at the buzzer.

But Hagins was there to challenge him and deflect the ball just enough, perhaps as it was already on its way down. No matter -- the referees' whistles remained silent and Hagins secured a 73-71 victory for his Blue Hens at Bob Carpenter Center (see Instant Replay).

"I just didn't want it to go into a third overtime, so I had to do something," Hagins said. "I definitely got a piece of it."

On the final stat sheet, Hagins wasn't officially credited with a block, and if you asked Drexel coach Bruiser Flint what he thought about that, he'd agree.

"It looked like goaltending from where I was, to be honest with you," Flint said. "I think Jamelle Hagins will tell you he goaltended, but I'm not a ref."

Well, Jamelle, did you?

"Oh yeah," he said. "I definitely did."

"No, you didn't. It was on its way up," Delaware coach Monté Ross quickly interjected. "He got hit in the head. He's concussed."

It was all laughs and smiles after the game for the Blue Hens, who improved to 14-13 overall and 10-5 in the CAA to move into a second-place tie with Towson.

Flint's attitude was understandably the opposite, as his Dragons -- preseason favorites to win the conference -- remained stuck in seventh place as they fell to 11-16, 7-8.

"I thought our guys battled," Flint said. "We got into unbelievable foul trouble. I had half my team on the bench. ... They called a lot of fouls on us today. They won the game from the foul line, pretty much. Did they make any baskets in the overtimes?"

In fact, the Blue Hens made just three shots -- all layups -- in the extra sessions, meaning only six of 21 post-regulation points came from the field. The rest were scored at the charity stripe, where they converted 15 of 21 attempts in the overtimes, and 29 of 42 tries overall.

Delaware made more free throws than Drexel took in the game. The Dragons, who committed 32 fouls to the Blue Hens' 18, finished the night with 15 for 21 from the line. Four Drexel players fouled out.

For the Hens, no bucket may have been bigger than Devon Saddler's easy layup to break a 67-67 deadlock with 1:58 left in the second OT. The deuce came just 16 seconds after Saddler had coughed up the ball to Massenat, but as the Drexel guard drove the ball the other way and attempted to lay it in, 6-foot-2 Jarvis Threatt emphatically denied him and secured his own block. He then fed it to Saddler, who was still recovering at the other end of the floor.

Saddler finished with a game-high 31 points -- one shy of his career-best mark -- on 9-for-14 shooting. He sank 11 of 15 free throws and logged 49 minutes of game time.

The 148th meeting between the two schools was just the second to ever go into double overtime, and the first since the 1936-37 season. It also marked the second time the Blue Hens, who lead the all-time series 76-72, defeated the Dragons this year. On Jan. 28 in Philadelphia, Delaware nearly blew a 15-point lead with less than five minutes to go before escaping with a 66-64 win.

"Seems like Groundhog Day -- just your regular, run-of-the-mill Drexel-Delaware game," Ross remarked jokingly after the game. "I think what you saw today is what college athletics is all about -- two teams playing their hearts out for, forever, it seemed like."

In the win, Hagins, whose big game-ending play capped an incredible double-double day, became the seventh active Division I player to reach the 1,000-rebound mark. He entered the contest at 999 and upped the total to 1,017.

"People don't realize what he's done. He's just amazing," Ross said. "To score 1,000 points and then grab 1,000 rebounds ... I'll tell you what. If you'd have told me when he got on campus that he was going to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds, I would've bet you anything that you were crazy.

"But his progression has been tremendous and I'm glad he's on our team."

Hagins, a senior, will be on the team for at least four more games, the next which will come Saturday at UNC-Wilmington. The Blue Hens will then wrap up the regular season at Hofstra and home against George Mason before the CAA tournament commences.

Drexel is next on the road again Saturday at Towson. As it stands now, with the Dragons in seventh and the Hens in second, a third matchup in the postseason is possible. It last occurred in 2008.

Mike McQueary's defamation suit against Penn State headed to jury

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Mike McQueary's defamation suit against Penn State headed to jury

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Lawyers for a former Penn State assistant football coach urged a judge and jurors Thursday to find the university liable for how it treated him after it became public that his testimony helped prosecutors charge Jerry Sandusky with child molestation.

McQueary is seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other damages, saying he was defamed by a statement the school president released the day Sandusky was charged, retaliated against for helping with the Sandusky investigation and misled by school administrators.

Sandusky, a former defensive coach at Penn State, was convicted in 2012 of sexual abuse of 10 boys and is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

In closing arguments Thursday, Penn State attorney Nancy Conrad emphasized that McQueary had said he was damaged by public criticism that he did not to go to police or child-welfare authorities when he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a team shower in 2001. Instead he reported it the next day to then-head coach Joe Paterno.

"Mr. McQueary was not damaged by any action of the university," Conrad argued. "Mr. McQueary, as he testified and as he recognized, if he was harmed, was harmed by national media and public opinion."

McQueary testified he has not been able to find work, either in coaching or elsewhere, but Conrad blamed that on an inadequate network of contacts and the lack of a national reputation.

Judge Thomas Gavin will decide the whistleblower count, a claim that McQueary was treated unfairly as the school suspended him from coaching duties, placed him on paid administrative leave, barred him from team facilities and then did not renew his contract shortly after he testified at Sandusky's 2012 trial.

McQueary was not allowed to coach in the school's first game after Paterno was fired, a home loss to Nebraska.

"That sends a very clear signal to those in your network that the university doesn't want you to be supported," Strokoff said. "`Stay away, you're a nonperson.'"

Penn State has argued it put McQueary on leave out of safety concerns, as threats were fielded by the university.

Strokoff said there was no evidence of multiple death threats against his client, and called McQueary's treatment outrageous.

"He should not have been the scapegoat," Strokoff said.

Jurors will decide the defamation claim and a misrepresentation allegation that two administrators lied to him when they said they took his report of Sandusky seriously and would respond appropriately.

Conrad insisted they did take steps to inform McQueary about the actions they were taking, which included meeting with Sandusky and an official from the children's welfare charity he founded, and telling Sandusky to stop bringing children into team facilities.

"No one told Mr. McQueary, `You cannot go to the police,'" Conrad said.

The defamation claim involves a statement issued by Penn State then-president Graham Spanier expressing support for the two administrators, then-athletic director Tim Curley and then-vice president Gary Schultz, when they were charged with perjury in November 2011 for allegedly lying about what McQueary told them in the weeks after the 2001 incident.

The perjury charges against them were dismissed earlier this year by a state appeals court, but Curley, Schultz and Spanier still await trial in Harrisburg on charges of failure to properly report suspected child abuse and endangering the welfare of children.

McQueary lawyer Elliot Strokoff said Spanier's statement could have led people to conclude McQueary was a liar.

"If the charges are groundless, then the grad assistant lied," Strokoff said. "And that's defamation."

Conrad said Spanier's statement indicated the charges against his two top lieutenants would be proven groundless.

No. 24 Penn State looking to turn around road skid against Purdue

No. 24 Penn State looking to turn around road skid against Purdue

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.  -- National rankings and bowl games didn't matter a whole lot to Brandon Bell when the linebacker committed to Penn State, a program then under unprecedented NCAA sanctions.

Four years later, the usually stoic linebacker found himself considering his team's sudden ascension Tuesday after its biggest win in front of more than 107,000 fans and a national audience.

"It's great, definitely," Bell said. "It's definitely not over though."

With five games left, No. 24 Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) can make a run at a conference championship but faces plenty of hurdles.

Before considering they'd need No. 2 Michigan and No. 6 Ohio State to lose some games, the Nittany Lions first need to find their game away from the friendly raucous of Beaver Stadium. They've lost seven straight true road games and eight of 10 since 2014 but can turn that around against Purdue (3-4, 1-3) with a win at Ross-Ade Stadium.

A player who enjoys being smack-talked and says he thrives on hostile energy, Bell has always liked the challenge of playing on the road. Bell's played in all but two of those road games and said the trick is to maintain your energy level throughout the game, something that's easier to do with an atmosphere like the one Penn State last played in.

With Ross-Ade Stadium less than half the size of their facility, Penn State coach James Franklin said players will have to "bring their own juice."

Penn State players know they'll need it. Some had already taken notice of Purdue before taking the field following a massive pyrotechnics display on Saturday night. As he waited to head over to the stadium, tight end Mike Gesicki watched parts of Purdue's 27-14 loss to No. 8 Nebraska.

"I think that people are kind of disrespecting Purdue," Gesicki said. "They gave Nebraska a very tough time in the first half and Nebraska is obviously one of the toughest teams in the country."

And one that plays an offensive style Penn State hasn't faced yet.

Purdue quarterback David Blough has passed for more than 767 yards with seven touchdowns in his last two games. He completed nearly 60 percent of his throws against Nebraska working Purdue's short and intermediate passing game in its first game since Darrell Hazell was fired.

"These type of teams, they kind of pass it to open up the run," Bell said. "At the same time, definitely got to be more read-oriented on the wide receivers and tight ends. The team's going to try to make you look this way and then throw it back this way. Definitely got to be able to keep your head on a swivel."

Interim coach Gerad Parker will coach his second game after changing up the Boilermakers' approach in the wake of Hazell's Oct. 16 dismissal.

"Change has happened, so we changed a lot of things in our routine," Parker said. "You need to demand out of yourself that you believe and think a different way, that the mind's a powerful thing and then take off and move faster out on that practice field so you'll move faster during the game."

Despite its road woes, Penn State's practice plan won't change, although Franklin altered his schedule due to a funeral on Tuesday. He did opt for one adjustment earlier in the week, however. On Sunday, Franklin sat in on the offensive and defensive meetings to make sure the postgame excitement from the Ohio State win had died down.

"We don't need to change our approach on the back end, and you know, it's business as usual for us," Franklin said. "It was a great game. It was a great environment and it was great to see our players go out and play well and it was great to see the fans enjoy it so much, and our alumni and Lettermen and all those things. But again, it's on to the next game."