OKLAHOMA CITY In its season-opener, Haskell Indian Nations University's women's basketball squad led nearly the entire game Friday.
But late foul trouble proved fatal as Mid-America Christian beat the Fightin' Indians, 82-73.
HINU led 43-33 at halftime and nearly matched MACU shot-for-shot -- except at the free-throw line. Haskell made 10 of 12 free throws, but MACU was 18-for-32 from the charity stripe.
"It was a good game," HINU coach Phil Homeratha said. "We led the whole game and got beat in the last five minutes. We got into foul trouble, and we had turnovers. It was the difference. If you look at our percentages, we beat them."
Samantha Pete led Haskell with 22 points, and Marie Stevens added 12. Pete was five-for-seven from three-point range and added five assists and four steals.
The other tough stat for the Indians was rebounding -- MACU outrebounded Haskell, 55-39.
It didn't help the Indians that their starting point guard, Billie Gransen, is out because of a sprained knee and could miss the entire season.
"She's our leader. She's the only senior we have," Homeratha said.
Also, Haskell's second-leading scorer from a year ago, Lucita Yesslith, sprained a knee ligament and could miss four to six games.
HINU will play host Monday to University of Saint Mary.
Haskell: Samantha Pete 22, Maria Stevens 12, Jamie Frederick 10, Lauren Whitebreast 9, Amber Tecumseh 8, Melinda Adams 6, Evangeline Platero 2, Lynette Hibdon 2, Kristi Ogonowski 2.
Mid-America Christian: W. McDonald 21, Coggin 16, Myers 15, Sorrels 10, Clark 9, Harmon 6, L. McDonald 5.