Thorns Fuels Frogs in OT Win at Evansville

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EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Senior guard Hank Thorns provided big play after big play for TCU, including the squad’s second final-second basket of the past week, to push the Horned Frogs past Evansville in overtime, 70-68, Saturday evening at the Ford Center.

The win, the third straight for TCU, pushed the squad’s season record to 6-2, while Evansville fell to 3-3. Five of TCU’s six wins, and all of its wins vs. Division I opponents, have been by five points or fewer. The Frogs are now 5-0 in such contests.

In a tight game featuring 13 ties and 18 lead changes,Thorns made three huge plays in crunch time to give TCU its second consecutive road victory. His layup that kissed high off the glass and through the hoopwith 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime proved to be the game winner just one possession after he tied the contest at 68-68 on the Frogs’ previous possession on another layup. In between the two scores, senior J.R. Cadot came down with a huge defensive rebound to give TCU the final possession.

Evansville guard Denver Holmes missed a final shot to win the game from 40 feet at the buzzer. The final-second win was the Frogs’ second of the past week, as Cadot recorded a buzzer-beating layup to defeat Houston last Saturday.

In addition to his two huge plays in overtime, Thorns got

things started by sending the contest into overtime on a game-tying 3-pointer with only 19.7 seconds remaining in regulation. He finished the game with ateam-high 21 points, which also tied his career best set last season in a home loss to UNLV. Seventeen of his scoring total came in the second half and overtime, as he finished the contest 8-of-18 from the field and 3-of-8 beyond the arc. He added five assists.

In addition to Thorns, TCU received big contributions from fellow senior guard J.R. Cadot, who registered a double-double featuring 13points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore forward Amric Fields, who scored 12 points. Junior forward Adrick McKinney scored nine points to go with a career-high 14 rebounds. McKinney led TCU to a huge 41-27 advantage on the boards.

As a team, TCU shot 48.1 percent from the field compared to only 35.3 percent for Evansville, as the Frogs put together one of their top overall defensive performances of the season. TCU defensive efforts and itswork dominating the glass helped the squad overcome a season-high 22 turnovers.

TCU’s team effort overcame an outstanding individual performance by Evansville guard Colt Ryan. Ryan, who scored 31 points, wentonly 7-of-17 from the field overall, but he managed to find his way to the charity strip throughout the game, where he sank 14-of-16 shots. As a team, the Aces made 29-of-37 free-throw attempts, compared to only 13-of-18 for the Frogs.

The Frogs recorded one their best defensive halves of the season in the opening period, holding  Evansville to only 5-of-22 shooting (22.7 percent) and no field goals in the stanza’s final 8:19. The squad trailed by five points before finishing the half on a 12-9 run.

 

Thorns gave TCU its first lead on a layup with 5:47. Following a pair of free throws by Ryan that put the Aces back on top, Cadot responded by soaring in from about 12 feet from the basket for a big slam. Fields then closed TCU’s scoring for the period with a jumper and layup.

TCU returns home to Fort Worth for a two-game homestand next week that begins with a 6 p.m. Tuesday matchup against in-state and future Big 12 Conference rival Texas Tech. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.