COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon doesn't feel like his team is itself.
He hopes the 16th-ranked Aggies get back to normal before opening Big 12 Conference play at Oklahoma this weekend. For now he's happy they overcame a poor start to escape with a 66-55 win over Nicholls State on Monday night.
"I just want to get back to being us," Turgeon said. "We're just not us right now. Maybe it was the environment and our guys are ready for a challenge. It's felt like we started over since the [Christmas] break and it shouldn't feel that way."
The Aggies (13-1) trailed for much of the first half but took a lead they wouldn't relinquish about eight minutes before the break.
Loubeau said Turgeon was tough on them at halftime.
"Coach really [put] out the real deal to us and let us know what we weren't doing and how we needed to come together as a team," he said.
Turgeon spoke about his disappointment with his team's tough start.
"I was embarrassed with the way we played and I meant every word of it," he said of his harsh halftime speech. "I told them that after the game, too."
Nicholls State (6-5) cut the lead to three points with about 13 minutes remaining, but Texas A&M used a 9-3 run to push the advantage to 57-48.
"We weren't guarding and we started to guard," Turgeon said. "We just started to guard better and rebound better."
Bose, who had scored at least 15 points in each game this season, put up 28 against LSU and 37 against Oklahoma State. But he was shut down by Texas A&M's defense led by Walkup. He missed all eight of his field goals in the first half and finished making just 1 of 12 with four free throws.
"A lot of those shots he took tonight he makes," Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. "They looked like bad shots, but he makes them. He became a little frustrated with himself and became a little too passive in the second half."
It was the first time in 23 games, dating back to last season, that Bose hadn't scored in double figures.
"Basically I was struggling and they are a good team and they had a good plan," Bose said. "They gave me hard shots to take. I struggled all night. I've got to do better than that."
It wasn't just Bose who struggled offensively. Nicholls State made just 17 of its 43 shots.
The Colonels trailed by eight points before scoring five straight points, including a 3-pointer by Justin Ayers, to get within 48-45 with about 13 minutes left. But a dunk by Kourtney Roberson started the A&M run that fended off the charge.
Nicholls State may have been helped by a 13-day layoff since its last game and looked well-rested as it jumped out to an early lead. The Colonels had an 11-3 advantage early as Texas A&M missed its first seven shots and committed three turnovers.
"I wish we could have ran and got on the bus," Piper joked when asked what he thought about his team leading early. "I don't think we could have started the game any better. It wasn't a surprise that they made the run and closed the gap and eventually pulled ahead. They're just too talented, there's just too much depth."
The Aggies didn't make a field goal until a basket by Middleton with about 13 minutes remaining in the first half. That shot started an 8-0 spurt by the Aggies to tie it at 11-all.
Texas A&M gained its first lead on a three-point play by Walkup that made it 17-16 about eight minutes before halftime.
The Aggies led by seven about 2 1/2 minutes before halftime but Nicholls State outscored them 9-6 in the last bit of the first half to cut their halftime lead to 35-31.
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