Everything was going right for Seton Hall. The Pirates led by 32 at the halfway point and were on their way to a nonconference finale victory over Lafayette. But the lone worry that has plagued SHU's season thus far returned to Kevin Willard's squad on Friday night. Coming out of the under-16 media timeout in the second half, the Pirates led 57-24. As senior center Gene Teague went up for a rebound with 14:43 to play, he hit the floor hard with his shoulder and collapsed in a state of shock. He went off the floor on a stretcher, with what is said to not be a neck injury, but likely a concussion. One could hear a pin drop inside Walsh Gym. "They think it's a really bad concussion," Willard said. "He (Teague) was convulsing, and that's what scared everybody."
The Pirates cruised to a 90-58 win and got to business early because of the big man. Teague scored the first three baskets of the game with lay-ins. With the blue and white leading 6-5, the Leopards were hanging in throughout the first couple minutes, but then Willard's squad began to pull away in extreme fashion. With a one-hand jam, Teague put the Pirates up 13-5 with 14:15 to go in the first half. This was part of a 26-2 run for the Hall that put them up 32-7 before Dan Trist put in a lay-up.
The Pirates continued to get many involved as junior Brandon Mobley scored on a three-ball to put the Pirates up 43-13. At the end of the half, SHU led 47-15, outscoring the Leopards 17-0 on the fast break while holding the Leopards to an 18 percent field goal mark.
Senior wing Fuquan Edwin hit a floater with 14:50 to play to give the Hall a 59-29 lead. After the injury to Teague, the Pirates found a way to stay focused. Sophomore point guard Sterling Gibbs' hyperextended knee injury that he suffered against Saint Peter's on Dec. 14 looked to be healed. Junior wing Haralds Karlis found Gibbs with a sharp pass on the fast break, as the sophomore transfer put in a lay-in to give Seton Hall a 74-38 lead. Gibbs found Mobley seconds later, who threw down a slam.
Teague ended up shooting 7-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He led the way with 18 points and 11 boards even after playing only 19 minutes. He was one of four in double-figures, as Mobley finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds while senior Brandon Mobley compiled 11 points along with eight rebounds. Gibbs had a feel-good return with 14 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. Edwin ended up with six points, three boards, and four assists.
The Hall shot 47% from the field (32-for-68) while hitting on 21-of-26 free throws. Lafayette falls to 4-7 on the season as the Leopards were held to their lowest point total of the season with 58. They came in with five averaging in double-figures, but had nobody end up in that category, shooting 21-for-65 from the field (32%).
The Pirates will try to play without Teague on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. against the Providence Friars. The game is one of the five as a part of the Big East tip-off marathon on New Year's Eve, which will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Providence has won three straight but faces one of its toughest tests of the non-conference slate at #23 UMass on Saturday at 6 p.m.