Aggies look to improve against Tarleton State

The Aggies looked sloppy in Thursday night's 12-point win over Emporia State, which leaves a lot of questions to be answered tonight against a Tarleton State team that knocked off Baylor in Waco this weekend. Aggie Websider has everything you need to know for tonight's exhibition season finale at Reed Arena.

No. 14-ranked Texas A&M plays host host to the Tarleton State Texans on Monday at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena in the final exhibition game for both teams.

The Aggies are coming off a 12-point win against Emporia State last Thursday that left many fans scratching their heads. The Aggies did not play with the same intensity on defense that fans have come to love over the past three years and they missed some open shots and free throws that kept the game closer than it probably should have been.

Afterwards, it was clear that new head coach Mark Turgeon was not pleased by his team's performance. But it was equally clear that no one was hitting the panic button either.

"This is about as ugly as I've seen one of my teams play," Turgeon said. "We missed a lot of free throws and a lot of open shots tonight (but) we still scored 85. The offense is just going to get better and better as the season goes on."

The game wasn't all bad though, as five Aggies scored in double figures, led by junior wingman Josh Carter with 14. Sophomore Donald Sloan and freshman seven-footer DeAndre Jordan each added 12 points. A&M shot 52.5 percent as a team from the field and outrebounded Emporia State 44-31.

But the defense was not as impressive.

"I was disappointed in our defense because I thought our play was uncharacteristic of what we've done in practice," Turgeon said.

The Aggies will look to rebound tonight in their tuneup of the year against Tarleton State, which is 1-0 in the exhibition season after knocking off Baylor, 95-85, on Friday night in Waco.

An NCAA Division II member, Tarleton State is the preseason favorite to win the Lone Star Conference after finishing 18-10 last year. The Texans were ranked as high as No. 3 early last season. In 2006, Tarleton State advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

Tarleton returns three starters and seven lettermen from last season's squad, but are led by a pair of NCAA Division I transfers. Senior guard Jeffrey Henfield (New Mexico) scored a game-high 28 points against the Bears, while senior guard Avery Patterson (St. John's) added 23 points and made 6 three-pointers.

Two other Division I transfers -- Mike Daniels (Utah State) and Limar Wilson (Minnesota) -- also played significant minutes against Baylor.

"We feel like we have a team right now that can compete for the national championship (in Division II)," TSU Coach Lonn Reisman said.

A&M opens the regular season at home on Friday against McNeese State at 7 p.m.

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