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Night Court: Southern sets NCAA record, routs Champion Baptist

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers have a lot of work to do in a disappointing ACC. (USATSI)
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers now have a lot of work to do in a disappointing ACC. (USATSI)

Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Monday ...

Game of the night: Southern beats Champion Baptist 116-12. Yes, 116-12. And in the process, Southern set an NCAA record by scoring the first 44 points against the Tigers, who are are an independent member of the Association of Christian Colleges, located in Hot Springs, Ark.

The Jaguars (4-9) broke the all-divisions record held by Seton Hall, which scored the first 34 points against Kean (N.J.) College on Nov. 19, 1998. Southern, however, did not set a record for margin of victory. Long Island University beat Medgar Evers 179-62 on Nov. 26, 1997.

Champion Baptist, which shot 3 of 44 (6.8 percent), did not get score until Kris Connor made two free throws with 5:10 left in the first half. The score was 57-6 at halftime.

At any rate, that's a SWAC team just vaporizing a club it really had no business scheduling. These are the types of unions that are scheduled by Grinnell College. Anyway, it was a ridiculous game that got out of hand immediately (check "Numbers to figure" below) and became a running joke on Twitter.

I'm not going to get all over a SWAC school that's a few games below .500 for trying to fatten up on a patsy, but a game like this isn't good for anyone's reputation. I can't deny it was mesmerizing to see how long it would take for Champion Baptist to score its first points.

Southern begins conference play against Prairie View A&M on Jan. 4. This is the program that gave Gonzaga a scare in last year's Round of 64, remember.

What else we'll be talking about tomorrow: Toledo's undefeated streak ends.

Well, I don't know how much we'll be talking about it, but at least the Rockets kept it respectable at Allen Fieldhouse and helped put Toledo in the mouths of many. It'll be a team to watch over the next few weeks, as pressure from not losing a game is now gone.

Monday night was a 93-83 loss for the Rockets in a game that saw Kansas get 21 from Perry Ellis, 20 apiece from Andrew Wiggins and Naadir Tharpe, and Joel Embiid go for 14 and 10. KU needed to throw all it had at the Rockets. Good sign for the MAC that it could have a team capable of stealing a game, should it make the NCAA tournament.

The Jayhawks are getting better with each game, and this is the kind of home win that you want. A tough opponent giving you a go and allowing you to learn some lessons without ever truly threatening or scaring you.

Toledo losing means there's seven unbeatens remaining, all of them ranked in the most recent polls.

That's a good win: Louisiana Tech, in overtime, at Oklahoma.

Cam Clark hit a bonkers 3-pointer to send this into overtime and briefly spare the Sooners of the second loss of the season, but credit to Michael White's 11-3 team for nabbing a scalp here.

La. Tech was that team last year that got to 26-3 ... then lost three straight to end its regular season/conference tournament. Big-time disappointment. Now the group is 11-3, in a new league (C-USA) and led by Raheem Appleby, will contend for a league title.

Oklahoma was very sneaky, having only lost to Michigan State coming into Monday. Sooners have a tough league surrounding them, but they'll get some wins. I think they end up in this year's big bracket.

But that's a bad loss: Virginia gets romped at Tennessee.

The Cavaliers have set themselves up for a very tough ACC campaign. Tony Bennett's team should be above losing 87-52 on the road to an average power conference team. The Cavs are in trouble. Yes, it was Tennessee's night, but there's nothing about UVa right now that signals this team is NCAA tournament-caliber. This 35-point loss was the biggest for the program since a 43-point decision in 2010.

Joe Harris only had seven points for the Cavs, and he's now more than five points below his season average from a year ago. What is going on?

Almost as bad: BYU is now 8-7.

The Cougars are even more disappointing than Virginia to me. With all that talent, they're not even close to being an NIT team right now. An 80-74 loss to Pepperdine puts the Cougs at 0-2 in the WCC and on the brink of complete irrelevance this season. They'll always be a danger, but hard to see them being a contender now.

Players with impact

Marshall Henderson started, nailed seven 3-pointers, and gave Ole Miss a 79-74 road win over 8-5 Western Kentucky. Henderson finished with 23. He's living outside the arc even more this year than he did a season ago. Check below.

Your high scorer for Monday? Western Carolina's Trey Sumler, the latest man to go for 40 this year, though he did it against something called "Milligan." (For more on 40-point scorers in college hoops ...)

Naofall Folahan. That's a tongue-twisting name and shot-blocking beast. Dude had 10 for Wagner tonight in the team's 59-52 road W over Monmouth.

The best player in the CAA is Jerrelle Benimon at Towson, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds in the Tigers' 72-64 win over New Hampshire.

Numbers to figure

44-0: The run Southern got out to on Champion Baptist, setting an NCAA record to start a game. (Previous: 34-0.) Kind of a fraudy mark, though, since Champion Baptist would probably lose to an average team at your local gym.

15: The number of games on Monday night -- about 25 percent of the total slate -- the featured a team not in Division I. The dregs of Christmas break scheduling for smaller schools.

78.3: The percentage of shots from Marshall Henderson that have been 3-pointers. This is quite an attack tactic from Andy Kennedy.

Other outcomes of note:

  • Without a starter scoring double figures, Florida State won 67-59 over Charleston Southern. FSU enters ACC play, arguably, as one of the four best teams in the conference.
  • Saint Louis squeezed the life out of Vanderbilt in the final four minutes, and after trailing most of the game finished with a 57-49 win. I thought SLU would take a dip this year, and I still believe that, but this team will again be in the thick of it in the A-10.
  • Near FSU? How about North Carolina State. The Wolfpack had a road game at UNC Greensboro and got out with a 68-64 win. Mark Gottfried's team is now 10-3. T.J. Warren, dark horse for ACC Player of the Year, had a game-high 24.
  • With no Sam Dower and no Gary Bell, Jr. because of injury, Gonzaga wasn't slowed at all, winning 69-41 over San Francisco to start league play.
  • Texas is now 11-2 after holding Rice to 44 points on Monday night. Longhorns a quiet foe to fear in the Big one-two.
  • Oklahoma State won 92-66 over Robert Morris. And Phil Forte -- a very viable third/fourth option for the Pokes -- went for 20. The sixth-ranked Cowboys will be ranked at their highest point in conference play in nine years. It wasn't all happy for OSU, though. See below.
  • Give it up to Clemson, one of the best defensive teams in the country. VMI has scored 80 or more points in all but two of its games this season. Tonight? An 80-50 loss at the hands of the Tigers. Clemson is a sleeper pick to sneak into this year's NCAA tournament.

Notebook:

-- Tilman Dunbar, leading scorer for Navy, "has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of academy rules." Via.

-- Michael Cobbins went down for Oklahoma State Monday. He was spotted on crutches afterward. It's unknown how serious his injury is.

-- We had two Conference Resets go up today. You'll want to give them a look to see what's happening in the biggest leagues as they all begin conference player. Here's the Atlantic Coast and West Coast.

-- The biggest transfer news of the day. In general the holiday break is when a lot of players opt to rethink and act on their futures. No surprise when we'll have another dozen or so added to the transfer list by this time next week.

-- Think New Year's Eve is slow in college hoops? Nah, we've got a few nice games on the docket. There are 31 games on Tuesday, the best of the bunch tipping at 1 p.m. (Ohio State-Purdue), 3 p.m. (Indiana-Illinois), 7:30 (Villanova-Butler) and 10 p.m. (Marquette-Creighton).

H/T to the Associated Press

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