SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego State’s Dwayne Polee II collapsed during the first half of the Aztecs’ 61-33 victory against UC Riverside on Monday night and Viejas Arena fell silent for about 15 minutes while the senior forward was tended to by trainers and a paramedic.
Polee was alert and responsive at a hospital and was scheduled to begin a battery of tests on Tuesday, coach Steve Fisher said. The Aztecs don’t know why he collapsed, he added.
As Polee was wheeled off the court on a gurney, his teammates and Fisher spoke with him.
“I said, ‘Dwayne, you’re going to be fine,’ ” Fisher said. “He said, ‘I’m OK coach. Tell them to win the game.’ “
Still, the Aztecs were shaken.
“It’s definitely difficult,” JJ O’Brien said. “Basketball becomes something that’s not important anymore and just looking out for your teammate and hoping he’s OK is what’s on your mind. I think it was good when we saw him leave and he was OK and told us all, ‘Just go get a win for us.’ That made us feel a little bit better. But basketball takes a second hand to what happened.”
Polee had missed a layup and O’Brien scored on a tip-in for a 14-8 lead with more than 11 minutes left in the half. Polee, who is from Los Angeles, turned and ran down the floor. He stumbled and fell face-first near the key in front of SDSU’s bench.
Someone in the crowd yelled “Call 911” and teammates Matt Shrigley and Dakarai Allen quickly called for a timeout.
Polee wasn’t moving at first but then appeared to come to. He was rolled over onto his back and moved his legs. A paramedic hooked him up to an electrocardiogram machine.
Polee’s father, Dwayne Sr., and mother, Yolanda, came out of the stands to be near their son. Dwayne Sr. is director of player development at the University of San Francisco.
“I’m glad they were here, to be honest,” Fisher said, adding that Dwayne Sr. went with his son in the ambulance and his mother followed in a car.
Fisher said Polee didn’t need to be resuscitated and was not given oxygen.
The crowd gave Polee a standing ovation as he was lifted onto the gurney and his teammates, who had been standing together near their bench, came over and gave him fist-bumps. Polee pumped his fists toward the crowd as he was wheeled off.
When play resumed, SDSU went on a 12-3 run to close the half and take a 26-11 halftime lead.
Aqeel Quinn scored 18 points and O’Brien 12 for SDSU (9-3), which fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 earlier Monday.
Jaylen Bland scored nine for UCR (6-5).
UC Riverside: The Highlanders had won four of five games coming in.
San Diego State: The Aztecs have won 46 straight games against teams from California.
UC Riverside: The Highlanders host Morgan State on Dec. 30.
San Diego State: The Aztecs host San Diego Christian on Saturday.
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