"It rolled - and [the Panthers] were there," Kilicli said. "That's what happened to us. We didn't get any loose balls ... That's what killed us, I think. And it killed us the whole game."
They are the vital "50-50" balls.
"We lost them all," Kilicli said. "And that's what we stand for: getting them all. We never have a player - I mean, K.J. plays great - since Da'Sean [Butler] who's created [shots]... So we have to get all the loose balls and hustle a lot to beat teams. When we don't, it is like this."
This game will be known for a few things. One is the way the Coliseum turned into a powder keg when WVU coach Bob Huggins received a technical foul. ("I've had a bunch of technical fouls in my career," Huggins said. "But I've never had one for yelling at a player for not making a rotation. I was frustrated because I have a four-year guy who doesn't make a rotation ... I was yelling at him and this guy T's me from across the court - and I'm yelling at Truck [Bryant]. He couldn't have thought I was yelling at him. He wasn't even in my field of vision.")
The game will be remembered for the way Pitt dissected WVU's defense at times. The Panthers fought through foul trouble. It took care of the ball. It threw a couple wrinkles, including a zone, at the Mountaineers.
"I think our depth was an advantage," Dixon said. "We went to a little bit different offense. And, as the game wore on, we were more patient. We were more aware of what we were trying to do."
WVU, meanwhile, made mistakes. There were chances to regain the advantage late. Gary Browne hustled - again - but made mistakes. Jones had a chance to tie the game - and shot an air ball.
"We have to improve our defense, our rotations," Hinds said. "We have to stop penetration. Guard the ball. If we take teams out of their sets, they're just going to ball screen. So we have to guard the ball."
Pitt might have more athletes. WVU might be tired. Hinds, though, shook his head.
"They were just hungrier," he said. "They saw it and went after it. We were two seconds late."
Now it's time for WVU to take a break and rest some legs.
It's time to cease punching things in the locker room. And simply fight back.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.