For the first 5:16, Penn State held the Rock off the scoreboard. The Rock finally scored on a second-chance put-back by Slippery Rock guard Cecil Brown.
The early start set the tone for the rest of the game. Penn State was able to reach deep into its bench. Of the 17 players on the roster, 14 saw time Friday night. The only three who didn't were walk-ons.
"No offense to Slippery Rock but we wanted to come out and really take them right out of the game from the get-go," junior guard Talor Battle, who led the Lions in scoring with 16 points, said. "And we joked around that we wanted to be able to rest the last 10 minutes of the game.
"Fortunately enough we were able to do that because we took care of business and kinda put the game out of reach right from the get-go."
Despite the accumulation of points, the Lions did not shoot the ball well. As a team, they shot just 43.1 percent from the field, 20.8 percent from 3 and 65.2 percent from the free-throw line.
"We didn't shoot the ball well tonight. At all," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "What did we score? 82. We didn't shoot, couldn't make a three. I think we have to get better at the line and making some threes and we have to get better at the free-throw line again."
DeChellis singled out center Drew Jones' free-throw shooting, calling it poor. Jones, 6-foot-10 redshirt junior, made three of his eight free-throw attempts.
All but one of the 14 Penn State players to see action scored. Serbian freshman forward Sasa Borovnjak led all Penn State freshmen with 10 points. Freshman guard Tim Frazier wowed the BJC crowd with his speed and his passing – on two consecutive possessions Frazier drove toward the basket and found a forward for a lay-up. His shooting was erratic.
"Tim is trying to go fast, fast, fast," DeChellis said. "I think his speed will benefit him if he slows down some and then goes fast. He hasn't figured out that he can gear down and then when everybody is in his mode then he can go to the next level. He's got a whole another gear in him."
Battle went to the Penn State locker room with 2:28 remaining in the first half with what he deemed to be a stomach virus. He returned before half-time. During his post-game press conference, Battle repeatedly was coughing into his jersey.
"It was something, it was definitely bothering me in the first half and then a little bit in the second," Battle said. "I'm gonna go talk to the doctor when I get out of here and hopefully it's not anything serious and it's just what I drank or ate before the game."
DeChellis said that Battle is fine.
DeChellis wasn't the only head coach who spoke inside the Bryce Jordan Center Friday. Joe Paterno addressed a Rally in the Valley crowd that filled up the entire lower bowl of the arena for nearly 10 minutes.
Paterno made it a point to honor the scout team, having them come down from their seats and stand behind him on the court.
"You see these guys sitting down here," Paterno said, pointing to the starters who sat in the first few rows behind the basket. "They wouldn't be worth a nickel without these guys."
"We're ready to play the best football game we can play because of these guys," Paterno said, again referring to the scout team.