COLUMBIA — The Columbia College band doesn’t feature a fat lady, but if it did, she would have been singing five minutes into their game against Concordia Seminary on Friday.
That’s how long it took for the Preachers to score their first two points. The Cougars had already made 19 of their own.
The eventual 117-46 outcome didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The Preachers have been Cougar prey for several seasons, including a 54-point blowout win to open the season last year.
The way coach Bob Burchard’s team conducted the onslaught was impressive. The Cougars limited turnovers, made their open shots and boxed out in classic mid-season form.
“I never got mad, which is nice,” Burchard said, “Obviously, we had them overmatched.”
Freshman Marcus Whitt — a Hickman High alum — led a balanced Cougar attack with 16 points on 10 shots. He said his hot hand was the result of an intense preseason regimen.
“You practice every day against yourself,” Whitt said of the Cougars’ preseason regimen. “You want to show everyone what you’ve been working on so far.”
Five of Whitt's teammates were also in the double figures, which is the result of unselfish play from players like senior Jordan Dressler. In 2011, Dressler led the team with 15.2 points per game, but on Friday he attempted only six shots.
“Sometimes when you get a spread, you try to get your own a little bit,” Burchard said. “But our starting five really moved the ball extremely well.”
The win moves the Cougars to 1-0 for the sixth straight year, and moves Burchard closer to an extraordinary feat. Currently in his 25th season at the helm, he needs only two more wins to reach 600.
Columbia College made sure he got the first ‘W’ of 2012 by outworking a punchless Preachers team from the start.
“Guys were excited to play,” Burchard said. “It’s a great way to start.”