Northwest Missouri State's men's basketball team had shown over the first eight games it could withstand the absence of starting point guard DeShaun Cooper.
Once the Bearcats got to Hawaii, not having their lightning-quick floor general finally caught up to them.
Northwest lost both games of the Hawaii Classic to St. Edward's and Harding and never led for a single second of either one.
A lack of offensive firepower was largely responsible for both defeats.
The Bearcats (8-2, 2-0) scored a season-low 50 points against St. Edward's and averaged 58 in the two games while shooting less than 36 percent.
Normally a very good three-point shooting team, the Bearcats went a combined 10-41 (24.4 percent) from three in the tournament.
Senior DeAngelo Hailey was the only Northwest perimeter player in the tournament to reach double-figures, matching his career-high with 24 against Harding.
Almost certainly, Northwest Missouri State's offensive totals would've been better with a healthy Cooper on the floor. He led the team in scoring last year with 14.7 points per game and assists with 4.1 per game.
With one more non-conference game remaining before the Bearcats resume MIAA action, there is no indication when or if Cooper will be back.
Northwest head coach Ben McCollum has brought up the possibility of redshirting Cooper, and with every game he misses, that scenario grows more and more likely.
The Bearcats better relish their Dec. 29 game against Central Methodist because home appearances are few and far between during the month of January.
Northwest plays exactly two January home games and the second of those doesn't occur until the last day of the month.
The first three and six of the first seven January games are on the road.
Northwest has a three game road swing through Missouri Southern, Pittsburg State and Missouri Western and another one through Central Oklahoma, Southwest Baptist and Central Oklahoma.
Sandwiched in between is a home against Lincoln Jan. 16.
The first two and last two road games of that stretch figure to be the toughest.
Northwest plays five February home games, but one of those is against No. 8 Washburn Feb. 16. The Bearcats also visit Washburn Feb. 9 in Topeka, Kan.