COLLEGE STATION, Texas – David Loubeau scored 18 points and Khris Middleton added 17 to help No. 16 Texas A&M to its 10th straight win, a 66-55 victory over Nicholls State on Monday night.
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.
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.
The Colonels got within seven points with about two minutes remaining but Nathan Walkup hit a jump shot and B.J. Holmes made a pair of free throws to close out the win.
Fred Hunter scored 17 points to lead Nicholls State. Anatoly Bose, who entered the game ranked third nationally in scoring with 25 points a game, was limited to six points.
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.
It wasn't just Bose who struggled offensively. Nicholls State making 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. 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.