Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/14/14
The first thing Eugene Teague did when he walked off the floor, was grab a bottle of Gatorade. Seton Hall’s senior big man pounded two bottles of the drink before he even left the locker room to walk to the interview room. Opened one, downed it in about three gulps and then reached for another and did the same. This was how Teague celebrated the Pirates’ buzzer-beating victory over No. 3 and top-seeded Villanova Thursday in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal. And to everyone around him, there was no more fitting scene. "I think they played smart," Wildcats head coach Jay Wright said after. "There were times when they got real physical with JayVaughn (Pinkston) in there, rather than worrying about Teague getting in foul trouble. He finished with four. There was a play there at the end — he might have had his fifth — but they called it on somebody else. It was just smart on their part on how Teague played." Following Wednesday night’s opening-round escape against Butler, Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard revealed that Teague was battling an episode of the flu — dating back to the regular-season finale against the Bulldogs. He was under the weather for much of the team’s preparation leading up to the beginning of the tournament. But Thursday? It looked like Teague was making everyone else sick. "I feel good, you know," Teague said. "I’m not really thinking about being sick. I’m just out there trying to make opportunities to give us a chance to win. I felt good." The 6-9, 270-pound power forward was the engine that powered Seton Hall’s stunning victory to advance to the Big East Tournament semifinal round for the first time since 2001. He score 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and connected on all five of his free-throw attempts. Teague scored 11 of his 19 in the second half, as the Pirates were able to recover from losing a double-digit lead against the Wildcats. Six of those points were scored in the final six minutes and 20 seconds of the game. Whenever the Pirates needed an answer, Teague was there to provide it. "Eugene, I thought was becoming the most dominant center in the league, right behind (Marquette’s) Devante (Gardner)," Willard said. "And I think I said he’s finally back from his concussion. It was one of the worst falls a college player could have. It’s just taken time." When Teague came crashing down in the final non-conference game of the season on Dec. 27 against Lafayette, Seton Hall was unsure if he would play again this season. He had to be taken off the floor on a stretcher, his neck immobilized for fear that he may have injured his spine when he hit the floor head-first. Teague missed the next four games, but has since admitted that it took even longer to feel 100 percent on the floor. He gained weight while sidelined, accumulated rust and was hesitant at times.
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