WVU Falls to No. 4 Syracuse Following Controversial Finish - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Falls to No. 4 Syracuse Following Controversial Finish

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Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

Syracuse forced 17 turnovers and held off a late push by West Virginia, while defeating the Mountaineers 63-61 on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

It appeared the Orange had interfered with a Deniz Kilicli field-goal attempt in a two-point game with less than a minute left to play.

But, no call was made and the Orange held on for the win.

"Inexcusable, our kids played their hearts out," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on his postgame radio show with the Mountaineer Sports Network. "We played our hearts out."

West Virginia outrebounded Syracuse 41-20 while shooting 41 percent from the floor.

Syracuse was led by Kris Joseph's 20 points.

"They're in there crying now," Huggins said. "I wish they would have cried Wednesday (after the loss to St. John's). Wednesday's game counted just as much as this game."

Solid play from Kevin Jones and sharp outside shooting helped the Mountaineers jump out to an early 15-9 advantage.

The Mountaineers controlled the tempo in the first half and held the lead for most of the first twenty minutes.

But, Syracuse used an 8-0 run to end the half to take a 28-24 lead into the locker room.

Kevin Jones led all scorers with 11 first-half points.

After both going scoreless in the first half, junior forward Deniz Kilicli and senior guard Truck Bryant began to find a rhythm offensively early in the second half.

The two scored 10 of West Virginia's first 12 points in the first five minutes after halftime.

Kilicli made a left-handed hook shot midway through the second half to tie the game at 45 apiece.

The game remained close with each team holding a slight advantage for most of the second half.

After the Orange began to gather some momentum, Mountaineer freshman guard Gary Browne banked in a three-pointer to tie the game again at 52-52 with five minutes remaining.

"We didn't execute as well enough at the end," Huggins said. "They're just so long."

Jones tied the game with a three-pointer once again at 61 with 1:45 left to play.

The Mountaineers trailed 63-61 with 29 seconds remaining.

Kilicli's layup attempt appeared to have hit the backboard before it was blocked.

However, no goaltending was called and a three-point attempt as time expired by Jones was off the mark.

Jones finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

"Starting Monday against Pittsburgh, we have to dig our way back out," Huggins said.

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