Poor Champion Baptist College.
The tiny school in Hot Springs, Ark., took on Southern—its fourth and final Division I opponent of the season—on Monday night, and the result wasn't pretty. The Tigers fell behind 44-0 to start the game and eventually lost 116-12.
Seriously. There's proof:
Final score from Jaguarland pic.twitter.com/baqVOFPD77— Southern Jag (@SUJagAlum) December 31, 2013
According to Ken Pomeroy, the 44-point run to start the game—Champion Baptist didn't score until Kris Connor hit a pair of free throws at the 5:10 mark of the first half—was an NCAA record, and by a good margin:
Southern is up 33-0. NCAA record to start a game is 34-0.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) December 31, 2013
But hey, at least the Tigers are consistent. They were outscored 57-6 in the first half and 59-6 in the second.
Unsurprisingly, in a game that saw a team win by 104 points, the box score just doesn't seem real.
Southern shot 59 percent from the field and had five players in double figures, including Tre Lynch, who scored 27 off the bench. Champion Baptist, meanwhile, shot 6.8 percent from the field and was led by Zach Hendricks, who had four points and was the only starter to score.
The Tigers were able to get to the line 17 times...but they only made five of their attempts—a number even Andre Drummond might be embarrassed about.
Perhaps this tweet from the school's Twitter feed on Nov. 18, just three days after it lost by 60 points to Mississippi Valley State, helps explain things a little bit:
Are u interested in playing basketball or volleyball for the Champion Tigers? Call 501-623-2272 for more information on our sports programs!— Champion Baptist (@championbaptist) November 18, 2013
Or maybe this one from USA Today's Dan Wolken:
Here’s how obscure Champion Baptist College is: It’s in the town where I grew up (Hot Springs, Ark.) and I’ve never heard of it.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 31, 2013
In addition to Monday's 104-point loss and the 60-point defeat to MVSU, the Tigers lost by 54 to Southeastern Louisiana and 63 to New Orleans.
We don't mean to shame Champion Baptist. It's a little silly that D-I opponents are able to record official wins—let alone play—against an ACCA (Association of Christian College Athletics) school that has an enrollment of 250.
When this bizarre story runs its course, hopefully the tiny Arkansas school will at least benefit from the extra attention and press.