Not much changed for Haskell Indian Nations University's basketball team from Tuesday to Thursday night other than the location.
After suffering a 23-point defeat at Baker University in its season-opener Tuesday in Baldwin, HINU was hammered at home, 97-68, by visiting McPherson College on Thursday night.
"I really don't think that either of those two teams are that much better than us," Fightin' Indians coach Jamie Morrison said, "we're just not playing well at all. We made way too many unforced errors tonight, we didn't do a good job of taking care of the basketball or getting quality shots, and mental lapses just killed us."
That, and the fact McPherson had five players score in double digits, compared to just Marcus Oliviera, who tallied 19, for Haskell.
In its loss to Baker, HINU fell behind 12-0 at the start but rallied to tie late in the first half. The Indians again fell behind early Thursday, but this time could not rally against the Bulldogs.
Just 10 minutes into the contest McPherson already had doubled the score (32-16).
The low-post maneuvering from Bulldog sophomore Brian Hooks, who led McPherson with 20 points, combined with the outside shooting of guards Roy McDonald (17 points, including 3-of-4 on three-pointers), Jordan Carter (14 points, 3-for-3 on threes), and Cody Rierson (10 points) easily helped McPherson establish an insurmountable lead in its first game of the season.
Not even Oliviera, who scored nearly a third of Haskell's points in the first half on off-balance jumpers and drives in the lane, could help the Indians keep close.
Things snowballed in the second half for Haskell, which will play host to Ottawa University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Coffin Sports Complex.
"I know we can compete a lot better than we have shown in the first two games, but I knew it was going to take a little while because we have eight new guys playing this year," said Morrison, who was without post player Topah Spoonhunter because of a sprained ankle and will not have top player Corey Ladson back until second semester.
"But you know what they say -- The season is a marathon, not a sprint."