Shot breaks lights, suspends game
A Division II game between Winston-Salem State and Johnson C. Smith will resume Friday after after Wednesday night's overtime could not start because of safety concerns after a player literally shot the lights out.
Winston-Salem State tied the score at 76 with 0.3 of a second left on a tip-in by Javan Wells, and then a full-court heave by Johnson C. Smith's Joshua Linson hit two large lights hanging over midcourt at Brayboy Gymnasium.
"It's the first tie I've ever been a part of," Winston-Salem State coach Bobby Collins told ESPN shortly after the game. "It wasn't about it being dark. The light bulbs were knocked out of the socket and hanging by a safety chain."
After workers tried to fix the lights, Johnson C. Smith coach Stephen Joyner Sr. (who is also the school's athletic director) and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association game officials deemed the situation a safety concern.
"We didn't know how long the chains would last," assistant coach Mark Sherill said. "The Winston-Salem coach agreed it didn't look safe. I've been in basketball a long time; this is the first time I've ever had a draw."
Collins said Thursday that the five-minute overtime would be played at 2 p.m. Friday at Johnson C. Smith, which is located in Charlotte, N.C.
Winston-Salem State has a game Saturday that could determine the CIAA championship.
"It was a great call and the right call for safety," Sherill said. "If it would have come down on one of the student-athletes [in overtime], you would have been calling us for something else."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.