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Nov. 5, 2011
Lions open 2011-12 season on Saturday, Nov. 12 vs. Hartford
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Nov. 5, 2011 - Penn State fans got their first look at Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers' first team Saturday and saw a squad diving all over the floor and playing at a fast tempo as Penn State downed Slippery Rock, 64-47, in exhibition action at the Bryce Jordan Center.
"I want to play so hard, that they put up a fist and ask to come out," Chambers said. "That's how hard we want to play. It's very difficult to do that - to play that hard for 40 minutes. We need everybody."
Penn State was led juniors Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) and Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) on the day. Frazier posted 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes of action while Oliver netted 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three. Freshman Trey Lewis (Garfield Heights, Ohio) added 10 point in 25 minutes of action. Freshman Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) led Penn State with eight rebounds in 27 minutes.
Chambers started Frazier, Oliver, Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.), Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.) and Jon Graham (Baltimore, Md.). Nine Lions played 11 minutes or more in the game and eight scored.
The Lions shot just 40 percent from the floor (23-57), including 38 percent in the second half, and 27 percent from three (7-26), but turned up their defense and hustle to build as much as a 21-point lead. The Lions scored 24 points off turnovers and out-scored Slippery rock 16-0 on second chance points. Penn State got 18 more field goal attempts (57-39) on the day than Slippery Rock.
"Sometimes when you're diving it dictates your effort." Chambers said, noting the Lions 18 charted dives on the day, including 13 in the second half. "You know what we're doing. We only had five dives in the first half, and that just tells you we're not playing that hard. Just seeing guys getting on the floor or diving for those loose balls, it's going to make a difference in a possession game. We played a lot harder after that first five to seven-minute stretch. We played a lot harder coming down the home stretch."
Penn State grabbed 13 steals and forced Slippery Rock into 25 turnovers on the day as the Lions used varied defenses, including some 3/4 quart pressing and half-court traps. The Rock was led by 25 points on 9-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-5 from three from 6-6 guard Devin Taylor. Taylor was the only Slippery Rock player to reach double-figures.
Penn State held a 34-23 lead at the half, but struggled shooting to start the second period hitting four of its first 15 from the floor. The Rock used the drought to close the lead to 43-39 after Taylor banked in a three with 11:01 to play. Frazier drove and was fouled. He hit two at the foul line and Oliver followed with a top of the key three. Penn State would score nine straight points and string together a 19-2 run that saw the Lions seize a 62-41 lead with 2:44 to play in the game. Oliver hit two threes in the run.
Slippery Rock tied the score at 12 after a Taylor lay-up with 11:48 to play in the first half. Glover grabbed an offensive rebound and got fouled. His two free throws gave the Lions a 14-12 lead they would not relinquish again. Slippery Rock closed to within one, 16-15, after a Taylor three, but the Lions used an 8-1 run capped by a Sasa Borovnjak free throw line jumper to take a 24-16 lead. Penn State would push the lead to 11 after a Frazier jumper with 4:12 to play in the half.
A Woodyard steal and kick ahead to Frazier for a one-handed slam highlighted the first five minutes of the second half.
Penn State will open the 2011-12 season on Saturday, Nov. 12 with a first-ever double-header with the football team. The Nittany Lions will take on Hartford at the Bryce Jordan Center while the football team faces Nebraska at Beaver Stadium. Times for both games have yet to be announced. Admittance to the basketball game will be free for all fans as Penn State opens the Chambers Era.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are $117 for adults, $91 for faculty/staff and seniors and $52 for youth. Penn State students will be admitted for free to Lady Lion basketball games beginning this season.
PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.