Edwin, Auda return in blowout win over Eastern Washington
The Seton Hall men’s basketball team blew out Eastern Washington University, 92-70, on Sunday evening with a strong second half surge.
More importantly, Sunday evening saw the return of two key players for the Hall: senior co-captain Fuquan Edwin and redshirt junior Patrik Auda.
Edwin checked in 3:26 into the game to an ovation from the crowd at the Prudential Center, making his first appearance since injuring his ankle against LIU-Brooklyn on Dec. 5.
Just two minutes later, Auda made his first appearance since the team played Oklahoma on Nov. 22.
Auda scored six points in six minutes. After the game, head coach Kevin Willard said that Auda was only supposed to play from the 14-minute mark until the under-12 timeout, but the Czech Rupublic native talked the coach into four more minutes.
Auda’s minutes will be monitored by Willard for the rest of his time at Seton Hall.
“Anytime we don’t have to play him, he won’t play,” Willard said. “That’s for every game for the rest of his career. He’ll get back up to the 27 minute range. His foot is fine. He’s fine. We just aren’t going to load up any extra stress if we don’t have to.”
Edwin, however, will not be limited in his minutes. In 27 minutes on Sunday, Edwin scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded eight steals, tying his career high in that department.
“I don’t feel like I have my first step just with the quickness to make plays on offense,” Edwin said. “I think that’ll come with time.”
Freshman Jaren Sina, who recorded 14 points and eight assists with zero turnovers stepping in at point guard for the injured Sterling Gibbs, said seeing Edwin and Auda back on the court was a neat experience.
“I just thought it brought some new excitement,” he said. “It was really exciting seeing those guys on the court. Fuquan is a specialist on defense. He helps us so much in transition. He’s a great player.”
Edwin echoed the point guard’s statement, saying his defensive mindset brings energy to the team.
“With me being on the floor, with my energy and my presence, it makes the team go a little harder,” Edwin said.
Sina said he agreed that Edwin’s defense helps the team immensely.
“You’re talking about our leader, he’s our go-to-guy. When he’s not there it throws us out of rhythm…When he’s missing, it’s tough”
Senior and co-captain Eugene Teague scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Classmate Brian Oliver continued his hot streak with 16 points. Juniors Brandon Mobley and Haralds Karlis chipped in with 11 points and 10 points respectively.
The Pirates improved to 8-4 on the night, and will look to score their ninth non-conference victory against Lafayette on Dec. 27.
According to Willard, Gibbs is expected to return in that game. He was medically cleared to play on Sunday, but since he hadn’t practiced, Willard opted to not play him.
Game time is set for 8 p.m. on Friday.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at email@example.com.