With nine of its first 11 games on the road. No. 20 Westminster last night made certain to not let its home opener go to waste.
Forward Emily Bollinger scored 29 points, including 21 in the first half, as the host Owls ran out to an 18-0 lead and never looked back in a 75-32 win over Fallston, a team expected to challenge in Harford County.
For a team that last Wednesday looked overmatched in a 14-point, season-opening loss to Centennial, returning to Westminster - where the Owls lost just once a season ago - proved a huge psychological boost.
"We had to kind of seize the opportunity," said Bollinger, who finished 12 of 20 from the field with 11 rebounds and seven steals. "After having two road games, and nine games in December away, we were really excited to play here tonight. It's so much fun to play in front of all your fans."
The Owls (2-1) gave them plenty to cheer about.
Employing a full-court press for all but a few minutes, the Owls forced 42 turnovers, rarely allowing the Cougars (1-2) to run a set offensive play.
Westminster set the tempo for the game in the first 4 minutes, scoring 18 unanswered points, including 12 for Bollinger, who used her 6-foot-1 frame and soft shooting touch to dominate in the paint.
"We came out and got a strong start, we got a lot of confidence," said Bollinger, one of the area's premier players as only a sophomore. "Once you're confident ... it's a lot easier to play."
Carrier Serio and Hollie Cushen also each had eight points for the Owls, and Carmen Fajardo added seven. Amanda Andrews led the Cougars with nine points.
On Thursday, the Owls return to the road for a date with Notre Dame Prep. For at least one night, however, they were able to feast on home cooking.
"I reminded them they had one loss at home last year," Westminster coach Dick Ebersole said. "If you're coming into our house, you'd better play well."