Texas Tech head basketball coach Chris Walker refused to use the differential in foul shots as an excuse for his team’s 66-64 loss to West Virginia on Saturday. Still, the sarcasm during his postgame press conference was impossible to miss when it came to the lack of calls against West Virginia’s Deniz Kilicli inside defensively.

Joe Sadlek All-Pro Photography

Texas Tech’s Kader Tapsoda tries to draw a charge against West Virginia’s Deniz Kilicli, who finished with a career-high 25 points.

“He ended up with two fouls and had one of those with probably 39 minutes and 30 seconds into the game,” Walker said. “For a guy who’s that physical, he must have done an amazing job of not fouling the entire game.

“So, kudos to him and I’m sure they’re teaching him great defensive techniques that we obviously need to learn from and figure out how a guy that physical can never foul through the course of an entire game.”

But it was Texas Tech’s inability to matchup against Kilicli inside that proved even more costly as the WVU big man finished with a career-high 25 points. In all, the physical nature of West Virginia’s play led to 30 fouls against the Red Raiders (three players fouled out in the process) to just 18 against the Mountaineers. As a result, WVU shot 41 free throws to Texas Tech’s 18.

“Do the math – it’s a huge key,” Walker said. “We’re trying to be physical and we’re trying to play hard, but I won’t blame it on that. We had more than enough opportunities to do what we needed to do. Now, that certainly makes it tougher, but we had more than enough opportunities to make plays and we had a shot at the end to win the game – that’s all you can ask for.”

As for West Virginia, the inability to take advantage those free-throw attempts kept the game close. The Mountaineers went  24-of-41 from the foul line – just 58 percent.

“Kudos to him and I’m sure they’re teaching him great defensive techniques that we obviously need to learn from and figure out how a guy that physical can never foul through the course of an entire game.” — Texas Tech coach Chris Walker on the lack of calls against WVU’s Deniz Kilicli

More on that theme, Texas Tech outscored West Virginia in the paint (24-20), in points off of turnovers (25-13), in second chance points (14-9) and in bench points (22-14). But West Virginia made up for those numbers from the charity stripe and by outrebounding the Red Raiders 39-29.

“Give Coach Huggins a lot of credit for the way his guys fought us,” Walker said. “They got to the foul line and were very physical. I think that was the difference in the game, and I thought there were a couple 50-50 balls that would have made a lot of difference for us.”

Kilicli, meanwhile, and guard Eron Harris made the ultimate difference for the Mountaineers as they combined for 40 of West Virginia’s 66 points – points that proved to be ever critical down the stretch.

“We missed so many free throws,” Harris said. “We have to make our free throws and we made it way more tough than it should have been.”

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  • scott

    As far as the refs...all big 12 teams should be mad...most inconsistent in the game..they call the imaginary pro bball fowl...guy can be 2 feet away and he still gets called...two bodies go up and the ref automatically blows and calls something..anything. Ive seen them all blow the whistle and then stand and stare at one another multiple times...must of been a fowl wasnt there?Had to be.
    A s far as the team...wow...speechless. Eric Murray is lets say 7 feet...his arms probably make him close to 10 feet. He gets the ball on that little charging half circle thing, turns around, and when the ball leaves his hand his hand is literally 3 inches from the rim...................................................................................and he misses.By alot.This kind of crap cost them in the first half against Kansas St..at least 8 points. Not all just Murray, Kilicli has probably lost 50 points this year from the dreaded lay up brick. Staten has capped more beautiful drives to the bucket with bricks than a union mason.It would be funny if i wasnt sitting there in my lucky gold sweatshirt and mounty jammies. I gave up ever shooting fowl shots 5 years ago. They are all pressing...have been all year.The kid from Indey is gonna be something in a couple years.I,ll keep watchin and rootin ....let s goo mounties

  • Hop'sHip

    Something I don't understand. And I admit not being the most knowledgable fan. But after the game, Coach proclaimed Gary Browne as being the most proficient at getting Deniz the ball in position to score. Yet it seemed to me that Gary kept trying to force the ball in, resulting in turnovers. In fact the boxscore shows him finishing with three TOs and only two assists. Actually, I thought Murray, in the second half, was most effective in getting Deniz the ball. But that leads me to my question exposing my admitted lack of understanding. When is an assist awarded?

  • GregG

    I myself haven't cared much for Big 12 officating, but with that said I can't blame coach Walker for his "sarcasm". Kilicli gets by with with alot on both ends of the court. I'm not going to beat the kid up, but anyone that knows anything about basketball knows Kilicli has gotten by pretty easy. What use to be known as the 3 second rule, the boy has turned into the homesteading act.

  • keno bill

    Henderson may be a defensive liability but his scoring will offset it. His defense will get bettet if he plays.

  • Wemakerain

    I would like to add WVU didn't have any flagrant or intentional fouls, which shows tech's inexperience and youth. It's hard to say your team wasn't fouling when most of the fouls called were blatantly obvious. However, we got the short end of the stick enough this season that I am kinda indifferent to a few unfair calls going our way for once.

  • Jethro

    These refs from the big 12 remind me of the refs from the Marshall game last season. Let the men play the game

  • Allan Jones

    I can understand why the TT coach was upset, but let's face it, his team is young too and they make many bone head mistakes as we do and more. They missed many fouls by Deniz and many more that Kevin committed, but what about that glaring charge in the paint right in front of the ref and he didn't even call it...I mean, come on. I agree with Tony, they owed us one after that Baylor game. Even with the lack of calls favoring TT they were still in it thanks to our lack of good foul shooting and play making decisions down the stretch. Hey, a wins a win, ugly or not.

  • Bill Carter

    I agree Tony, very low quality officating for games that means so much to the teams standing, the fans, and the money each university receives........I also thought the Baylor game was the worst officated game this year!

    • PC

      Oh, really, Go back and take a look at the stats in the Eastern Kentucky game. Check the foul points disparty in that game and ask the EKU coach (Neubauer?) who really got hosed!!

  • tony

    look, after that Baylor game, you can say they owed us one. The Baylor game was so touchy we literally had no chance. Any contact was a foul..Ok, I agree that on balance the way this game was called is probably more like the Texas game out there early on..a lot like a Big East game was. I do think DK shoulda had another one or so but he probably got fouled a few more times as well. Deniz played one hell of a game..On the whole agree that I am concerned about the consistency of the refs..it makes the officials a factor when in college hoops thats exactly what you dont want in any league. This has to be fixed. It is visibly worse on most B12 games ..compared to the BE B10 or ACC for sure....i have watched them all for years....

  • Bob

    The Big 12 Zebras are very inconsistent. Hand to hand combat in the Big East was the norm. I am not sure after watching many games in the Big 12 what is a foul and what isn't. The combativeness of the Big East was difficult is stomach at times but the refs were more likely to let the rough play go once they warned with fouls in the first five minutes of a game. We got so use to seeing the same Big East refs that the coaches and players knew what would likely be called and what would they tolerate.

  • Dave

    I have to agree with Tech's coach. There were many times that Kilicli should have been whistled. Used to be announcers would say that "the refs are letting them play". I'd say that coach Walker was about as nice as he possibly could be in this situation. WVU has been in his shoes enough times in basketball and football to understand how he feels