For the first time this season, Westminster faced an early critical problem.
With 4:05 left in the first quarter and leading by five points, the Owls had to play without their leading scorer and rebounder, Beth Lister, who went to the bench after picking up her second foul. But that problem existed only briefly.
Sophomore forward Jill Ibex scored four points, made two steals and handed out an assist in an 8-0 run as Westminster pulled away from Patterson.
Ibex scored 14 of her career-high 18 points in the first half as the No. 12 Owls toppled Patterson, 87-34, in the first round of the Poly girls basketball tournament yesterday. The Clippers (2-4) were the runners-up of the tournament last year.
Westminster (5-0), which won by a season-best 53 points, will play Bryn Mawr at 6 in the semifinals tonight.
The 87 points are the most scored by a team in the three-year history of the tournament and are believed to be the most totaled by the Owls under fourth-year coach Bernie Koontz.
"It was difficult to sit [Lister]," Koontz said. "The game was still close, and I told her that she had only one foul for the rest of the half. But Jill and the entire team did a great job without her."
By the time Lister returned for the second period, the Owls had a 19-7 lead. When Lister collected her third foul 5:38 before halftime, Westminster again picked up its game.
The Owls expanded a 14-point lead by going on a 12-0 tear to pull ahead 35-9. During that span, Westminster made four of five free throws and scored on two offensive rebounds.
Ibex again filled in for Lister, scoring four points in that run.
"I just went out there and played," said Ibex, who also grabbed 10 rebounds. "I didn't go out there to take over the game."
However, Lister re-entered the game after halftime and was not get called for another foul.
Lister scored 19 second-half points and finished with 23, the 10th-best individual total in tournament history.
Lister and Ibex led the Owls' inside game, which produced 62 points.
Westminster shot 61 percent (22 of 36) from the field and had seven players who scored at least five points.
Lauren Kodlubowski contributed 14 points and seven rebounds and Cassandra Conklin added seven points, seven rebounds and four assists.
"If one person is not on their game, we really don't have to worry," Koontz said. "We have an extremely well-balanced team. We have people who can pick up after each other."
The Owls defense also displayed the same balance with its double- and triple-teaming.
The Owls forced the Clippers into 29 turnovers.
Patterson could only close the margin to 25 points in the second half as it hit back-to-back shots only twice.
* Bryn Mawr 50, Mount de Sales (B) 23: Junior guards Emily Hickman and Misty Smith contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, to lead Bryn Mawr over the Mount de Sales B team in the Poly Tournament.
The Mawrtians opened the game with a 19-5 run and broke open the game by outscoring the Sailors 13-3 in the third period.
The Bryn Mawr backcourt of sophomore Mia Medlin and freshman Paige Donaldson combined for 14 points.
Sophomore Bonnie Milner led Mount de Sales with seven points.
* Park 53, Ballou (D.C.) 23: Senior swingman Jessica Schiavone and freshman guard Rebecca Shapiro each scored 14 points to lead Park over Ballou in the first round of the Poly Tournament. The Bruins will play Poly at 8 tonight in the semifinals.
Park started the game by scoring the game's first 16 points. Senior guard Alexa Wilder added 10 for Park.
* Poly 67, Owings Mills 22: Junior forward Jawai Maith scored 19 points as Poly defeated Owings Mills in the Poly Tournament. Junior guard Kelly Logan added 15 points for the Engineers.
Senior guard Allie Coufal contributed eight points for the Golden Eagles.