The clock read 13:08 and NC State was in control, leading 22-5. On an inbounds pass lofted near mid-court, Bulldog redshirt senior guard Tyvoris Solomon and NC State guard Markell Johnson leapt for the ball, with Johnson grabbing the steal. He came down awkwardly, and fans immediately became concerned about a potential injury to the NC State guard.
Then an announcement from the PNC Arena PA announcer broke the silence in the worst way possible.
“We need a doctor in front of the South Carolina State bench,” the booming voice said.
All energy left the building. A huddle formed around the Bulldog bench as teammates held grimaces on their faces. Shouts could be heard from the stands, and one gentleman stood directly behind me, praying during the entire break in the action.
Solomon had collapsed in front of the team’s bench.
Paramedics rushed to his aid and appeared to perform CPR on him as he lay on the sideline. He was eventually carried off the floor on a stretcher.
Both teams then went to their respective locker rooms as Solomon’s health, and far less importantly, the future of the game at hand, was in question. The two coaching staffs met during the delay and decided that the game would continue.
The Bulldogs returned to the court a few minutes later to a well-deserved standing ovation from the fans. Bulldogs coach Murray Garvin accompanied Solomon to the hospital and associate head coach Rio Pitt coached the remainder of the game.
As of the most recent reports, Solomon is stable.
“Emotionally, while everything is happening, you are praying everything works out and just making sure your guys are okay,” Pitt said.
Pitt also detailed the decision to continue the game, when no one would have blamed his team for just calling it off there.
“We asked the guys what they want to do,” he said. “We will do what Ty would do, Ty would tell us to go out there and play, that’s was the response the guys gave us.”
Freshman guard Rayshawn Neal provided a spark off the bench with 10 points to help bring the Bulldogs to within 13, but NC State was too much. The Wolfpack opened the lead back up to early in the second half to seize control of the game for good.
The final score was 103-71, not that it really mattered.
“Not one person raised their hand and said they didn’t want to play,” Pitts said.