WORCESTER, Mass. -- Eastern Connecticut guard Antwoine Key died Thursday night after collapsing during the opening minutes of a game at Worcester State.

Police and emergency personnel used defibrillators to try and revive Key, 22. He was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester where he was pronounced dead, Eastern officials said.

The administrative coordinator at the hospital, who did not give her name, said Key went into cardiac arrest. An autopsy is scheduled, she said.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss," Eastern Connecticut President David G. Carter said in a statement. "Antwoine loved basketball. He was a shining example of what is good and noble about student athletes."

Key was running down court when he suddenly collapsed at about 7:15 p.m., said Kaine Thompson, a spokeswoman for Worcester State.

"We're all very distraught at this tragedy," Thompson said. "The game was discontinued at that point and the gym was cleared."

The college brought in counselors, who will be available around the clock. "The players were very upset," she said.

Key, a 6-foot-4 senior who transferred from Southern Connecticut in the fall of 2003, was a sports and leisure management major. He started all 14 games this year and was averaging 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds a game.

Funeral arrangements were pending.