In three previous games against Division I competition this season, Champion Baptist College lost by 54 to Southeastern Louisiana, by 60 to Mississippi Valley State and by 63 to New Orleans.
Somehow, someway, on Monday night, it got worse. Much worse.
In a 116-12 loss at Southern, Champion Baptist didn't score its first point until nearly 15 minutes into the first half.
It was 44-0 by the time Kris Connor sank a pair of free throws to get Champion Baptist on the scoreboard with 5:10 left before halftime. It was 52-2 by the time Zach Hendricks hit a jump shot to give Champion Baptist its first field goal a few minutes later. And it just kept getting worse and worse in the second half, the lead finally ballooning to over 100 on a Frank Snow layup with 2:52 remaining.
Southern's 44-0 start broke the record for the longest scoring run to start a game in Division I basketball history. It was only the fifth time a game involving a Division I team was decided by 100 or more points, but it didn't come close to approaching the record set by Long Island when it defeated Medgar Evers 179-62 in 1992.
It's remarkable that Southern was the team to set such a record considering the Jaguars aren't exactly Top 25 material. They won the SWAC tournament last season to qualify for the NCAA tournament, but they entered Monday's game with a 3-9 record that included a 26-point loss at top-ranked Arizona and a 25-point loss at No. 12 Baylor this month.
Still, Southern's basketball accomplishments tower over those of Champion Baptist, a Hot Springs, Ark. school that is a member of the Association of Christian College Athletics. Not only does the school lack a working website or Wikipedia page, it recently advertised on Twitter asking prospective basketball or volleyball players to call the university for more information about joining one of the teams.
Why would Southern schedule such an overmatched opponent? And was there more the Jaguars could have done not to run up the score? Those are definitely fair questions, but a request to speak with Jaguars coach Roman Banks on Monday night wasn't immediately returned.
The final box score reflects an almost comedic level of domination by Southern.
Champion Baptist sank only 3 of 44 shots it attempted, committed 27 turnovers and got out-rebounded 71-21. No Tigers player scored more than four points. They went to the free throw line 17 times but hit only five foul shots.
By contrast, Southern shot 59 percent from the field, played 10 players 12 or more minutes and produced five double-digit scorers.
By the end of the game, even Southern fans in attendance felt sorry for their struggling opponents.
Wrote one on Twitter, "I promise I feel bad we're winning by this much. Everyone has been clapping for CB each time they score. I just want to cook them some gumbo."
- - - - - - -