Game Preview: Seton Hall vs. Eastern Washington

USA TODAY Sports

After letting a heartbreaking loss percolate for an entire week, the Pirates host Eastern Washington Sunday night at the Prudential Center.

When: December 22
Time: 5 EST
Where: Newark, NJ
How to Watch: Fox Sports 1

Seton Hall’s Outlook

Even with Sterling Gibbs (knee) out, Seton Hall (7-4) needs to win this game. And although you’ve probably never heard of Eastern Washington (5-4), beating the Eagles -- who happen to be the Big Sky’s top team -- on Sunday won’t be a breeze.

Fuquan Edwin (13.8 PPG) is expected to rejoin the lineup after missing what was essentially four-game span with a sprained ankle. Although the senior forward’s return will be key to SHU’s ability to bounce back after an overtime loss to St. Peter’s, it’s hard to expect that he can immediately come back as the offensive monster that he was prior to getting hurt.

Jaren Sina will see a ton of time as the team’s primary ball-handler since Gibbs is on the mend, and that can go one of two ways for the Hall. The first possibility is that Sina is aggressive, efficient and effective like he was against NJIT (17 points, 5-6 FG). The second road is a slippery one, as Sina - - who is just a freshmen - - could experience the trials and tribulations that come with being an inexperienced player running a college offense. In Seton Hall’s last game against St. Peter’s, Sina missed all seven of his field goal attempts and had just two points and one assist while turning the ball over four times.

Gene Teague will most likely have a double-double, being that he’s had one for four straight games. Even with Edwin’s return, Teague needs more looks at the rim. The 6’9" bruising senior has yet to attempt more than nine shots in a game this season despite shooting over 56 percent from the field.

Scouting the Eagles

Eastern Washington enters Sunday’s contest as the nation’s 83rd ranked rebounding team with over 38 boards a contest. Three Eagles score in double-figures, led by nearly 20 points a game from sophomore guard Tyler Harvey.

Fellow sophomore Venky Jois comes in averaging about 14 points and eight boards, while Drew Brandon is putting up close to 12 points and seven rebounds a night.

The Eagles are currently riding a two-game losing streak, but an impressive 102-70 win over LIU Brooklyn, a team that Seton Hall beat by just 11 points, proves that Eastern Washington is no joke.

Prediction

Seton Hall desperately needs to win this game, as their brutal January schedule is quickly approaching. However, without Gibbs and a potentially hobbled Edwin, the Pirates are in a position to get upset by the Eagles.

Seton Hall 68, Eastern Washington 75

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