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Nov. 12, 2011
Contact: Brian Siegrist Penn State Athletic Communications 814-865-1757 email@example.com
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Nov. 12, 2011 - Penn State opened the Patrick Chambers Era with a 70-55 victory over Hartford Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center in the season-opener under the first-year head coach.
Penn State claimed its seventh-straight season opening victory and Chambers, who had approximately 75 family and friends in attendance, claimed his first as a head coach after dropping a pair of road season-openers in his two seasons leading Boston University.
"It's obviously a very difficult situation, a difficult time," Chambers said. "I just tried to tell them to stick together. Try to limit distractions. And, we tried to do that by practicing and having team meetings, but we're human beings too. And our hearts go out to them - to the children and their families.
"I was very proud to be a part of Penn State today," Chambers continued. "I actually welled up driving in. There was 107,00 strong (at Beaver Stadium), candlelight vigil the other night, a good crowd (in the Jordan Center) today. That's what Penn State is all about. Penn State Pride."
Freshman Trey Lewis (Garfield Heights, Ohio) led the way scoring 17 points on 3-of-6 from three and added four assists in 31 minutes of action. Junior Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) added 16 points and a team-high six assists despite playing a less than normal 28 minutes after picking up four fouls. Frazier's career-best five steals led the Lions who posted 15 steals on the night, the most for a Penn State team since posting 18 in a victory over North Carolina in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Penn State's defense also forced 26 Hartford turnovers, the most for a Penn State opponent since 2005.
Senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) who missed the first two weeks of practice after having surgery on his left knee, hit a career best 4-of-7 from three for a career-high 14 points. He also added a career-high four steals and tied a career-best with seven rebounds. Freshman Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.), who started the game with fellow freshman Lewis, tied Woodyard for the team high with seven boards.
Penn State held as much as a 26-point second half lead despite struggling shooting 36 percent from the floor and just 14-of-26 (53.8%) from the foul line. Hustle and defense prevailed as Penn State posted a 20-2 advantage in second chance points.
"There's no doubt there's two young teams out there playing today," Chambers said. "When they're missing shots, missing free throws there just unsure of themselves, where to be, what to do. I think both teams played as hard as they could and I give (Hartford coach) John (Gallagher) a lot of credit. We've got young guys. We try to run different sets. We try to do different things and they just forget. You know, they're nervous; they've got butterflies going. It happens."
Hartford, which shot 43 percent from the floor but just 8-of-26 (30.8%) from three, was led by 12 points from guard Wes Cole, the only Hawk to reach double-figures.
Hartford led 7-2 with 17:39 to play in the first half when the Nittany Lions went on a 9-0 run sparked by a Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) jumper. Oliver also converted a four-point play after draining a three and getting fouled to give the Lions a 9-7 lead with 16:19 to play.
Hartford got within one, 11-10, after a Mark Nwakamma three. Penn State built an eight-point lead, 21-13, after a Lewis three, but Hartford scored seven straight to get back within one, 21-20, after a Genesis Maciel jumper at the 6:03 mark.
Penn State held Hartford to two points the rest of the half and used an 11-0 run, sparked by a pair of Woodyard threes, to build a 12-point lead. The Lions led 32-22 at the half following a late Hartford lay-up from Jamie Schneck.
Penn State pushed its lead to 16 midway through the second half after a Woodyard three and a lay-up from Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) made it 50-34.
Hartford scored six straight points and got within 10, 50-40, after a Maciel three with 10:06 to play. Travis and Lewis answered, getting a lay-up and a three, respectively, to push the margin back to 15.
Penn State used a 15-3 run over four minutes to build a 26-point lead, 70-44, with 2:21 to play. Lewis scored the first seven points of the run on two lay-ups and a three and Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.) added a three to push the lead over 20.
Penn State continues a run of five games in nine days to start the season on Monday when the Lions host Radford in a 7:00 p.m. tip at the Bryce Jordan Center. That game will be the first of two home games for Penn State in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament. Penn State will also face Long Island (7:00 p.m.) at home on Wednesday before heading to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut to face Kentucky (noon) on Saturday and either South Florida or Old Dominion (2:00 p.m.) on Sunday.
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. 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.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
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.
Penn State vs. Hartford Game Notes
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers began his first season at Penn State by winning the first season-opener of his career. Chambers, in his third year overall, was 0-2 in season openers in his two seasons at Boston University, dropping a pair of openers in road games.
Penn State has now won seven-straight season openers. The Lions improved to 86-30 in season openers, 76-10 in home season-openers.
Patrick Chambers improved to 6-1 all-time vs. Hartford.
Senior Cammeron Woodyard scored a career high 14 points on the night on a career-best four threes (4-7). Woodyard's previous career high was 10 points vs. Michigan last year.
Woodyard also posted a career-best four steals, and tied career-best with seven rebounds and two assists.
Tim Frazier posted a career high five steals on the day. Frazier had four steals in the first half.
Freshman Trey Lewis had a game-high 17 points in his first collegiate game.
Penn State forced 26 turnovers, the most since Nicholls State turned the ball over 27 times on 11/23/05, which was a Bryce Jordan Center record.
Penn State's 15 steals marked the first time Penn State had 15 or more steals since they grabbed 18 vs. North Carolina on 3/18/01.