Westminster vs. Towson

Towson's Colby Hogan picks up a loose ball as the Westminster player watches during the Owls' 56-45 Class 3A first-round playoff victory Friday night. (Photo by Scott Serio / Baltimore Sun / February 28, 2014)

Westminster used its size advantage to create an abundance of high-percentage shots and defeated Towson, 56-45, in a Class 3A first-round playoff game Friday night at Towson.

The Owls shot 21-of-37 from the floor (56.7 percent), and outrebounded the Generals, 33-22.

Westminster moves on to play at Woodlawn on Monday at 6 p.m. in a regional quarterfinal. 

Westminster 6-foot-8 senior forward Skyler Shaff led the Owls with 15 points and eights rebounds, and  Jake McIntosh, who's also 6-8, added 10 points and five rebounds.

Towson's best bigman, 6-4 senior center Joe Jackson, finished with four points and six rebounds.

Jackson was in in foul trouble in the second half. He missed much of the third quarter and the early part of the final quarter.

Towson coach Tim Gavin said the Owls' size overwhelmed his team.

"We have outsized everybody this year," said Gavin, who brings 6-5 Kevin Spencer off the bench. "We have dominated everybody on the glass. They took that advantage completely away from us."  

Westminster (12-10) led wire-to-wire and bolted to a 12-3 lead in the first 3:20 as the Owls made five of their first eight shots.

Towson went on a 5-0 run early in the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-14 when Grant Oliver hit a three-pointer and Kenny Hill made a layup.

But the Generals struggled for the rest of the quarter. They went 0-for-5 from the field and had three turnovers.

That stretch helped Westminster build a 27-15 halftime lead. 

Towson (7-12) cut the lead to eight points early in the third quarter, but the Generals couldn't get any closer the rest of the way.

"We kept our composure as they stepped up the pressure," Westminster coach Stephen Byrnes said. "We played within our game, which was to get the ball inside and play strong defense."

Owls senior point guard Connor Lulay had 10 assists and Dez Lighty scored eight points for Westminster.

Colby Hogan scored nine points off the bench for Towson and teammate Nyekwon Carter added eight.