Maybe Champion Baptist College is a little better than it was a year ago. Or maybe Southern isn’t as far along as it was at this time last year.
Either way, the Jaguars’ 114-50 victory against the outmanned Tigers on Tuesday night in the F.G. Clark Activity Center wasn’t of the record-setting variety, like last year’s was.
A year ago, Southern set an NCAA record by scoring the first 44 points on its way to a 116-12 victory against CBC, a Hot Springs, Arkansas-based independent member of the Association of Christian College Athletics. In the rematch, the Jaguars managed just eight points before allowing the Tigers to score — on a 3-pointer by Cole Johnson. Southern led just 20-15 nearly eight minutes into the game.
“I think in the beginning, because of all of the emotions of last year, we were trying to play nice and casual,” Jaguars coach Roman Banks said. “I think (the starters) defensively kept us where we needed to be until everybody got going.”
It quickly turned into a runaway as Southern allowed just four field goals in the final 12 minutes of the half to build a 57-23 halftime cushion.
“Coach Banks told us to pick up the energy,” forward Keith Davis said, “that we needed to do more than what we were doing.”
CBC, which lost at Lamar 128-54 on Monday, fell to 1-10. Southern (3-8) visits Wyoming on Saturday.
After losing its first seven road games by an average of 17 points, Southern needed a confidence-building performance before hitting the road again for its final three nonconference games.
It got that by shooting 64 percent as six players scored at least 12 points and by outrebounding the Tigers 53-19. One of the Jaguars’ primary goals in the early season has been to establish an ability to score in the lane, and they outscored undersized CBC in the paint 64-20.
Davis led the way by scoring a game-high 22 points, making 11-of-14 shots; Tre Lynch scored 20 off the bench, making 8-of-11; Adrian Rodgers scored all 14 of his points in the second half; Joell Hopkins had 13 off the bench, making 6-of-7; and Trelun Banks and Jared Sam scored 12 each. Sam made all five of his shots and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
“I thought after we relaxed in the second half we really played well,” Roman Banks said.
Southern took its biggest lead at 110-41 with 3:28 left and dribbled out the clock while falling just two points short of its total in last season’s game while the Tigers scored 38 more than they did last season.
“I think the difference (compared to last year) was they were trying to not get beat like they did last year,” Trelun Banks said. “We knew they were going to come out and play this game like it was their Super Bowl.”
CBC played with just eight players, and its primary big man, center Hayes Linville, sat out the last 15 minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half after being hit in the head while fighting for a rebound.
Forward Cody Conner led the Tigers with 17 points and seven rebounds despite being hobbled after landing awkwardly on his back in the first half.
“I didn’t expect to beat them like last year,” Trelun Banks said. “We weren’t trying to repeat last year. We were just trying to play this game the way we play every game.”
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.