All TCU. All the time.

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TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

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Frogs upset no. 11 UNLV 102-97


Hank Thorns didn’t know where to go.

So, when the final buzzer sounded and the student section flooded the floor, the 5-foot-9 senior, perhaps to get a better view, hopped onto the press table near mid-court and let out a yell loud enough for all of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum to hear.

The TCU men’s basketball team overcame an 18-point, second-half deficit to upset No. 11 UNLV 102-97 in overtime Tuesday night.

Thorns scored a career-high 32 points on 8-of-12 shooting from 3-point range as the Frogs notched their first win over a ranked opponent since 2004. Eight of the senior’s points came in the extra period, including a fade-away, contested three-pointer that put TCU up 96-91 with 1:21 left in overtime.

Thorns said he was flat-out feeling it at that point.

“I was hot, man,” Thorns said. “I can’t explain it. I shot it like I normally shoot it. I was hot.”
The Frogs (15-10 overall, 5-4 Mountain West) trailed the Rebels 68-60 with 13:22 left in the second half.

That’s when TCU went to work.

The Frogs chipped away at UNLV’s lead, cutting it down to 10 three times before going on a 9-0 run with 6:12 left in the game. Three buckets in a row by Garlon Green, Kyan Anderson and Amric Fields got the Frogs within four.

Enter Thorns.

The Las Vegas native knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the UNLV lead to 81-80. Then, after a Mike Moser bucket on the other end, came back down the court and drained another trey from the top of the key to tie the game at 81-81 with 2:58 left, taking the Rebels’ lead away for the first time since the 17:22 mark of the first half.

The two teams each added quick buckets then went scoreless the final two minutes, forcing the game to go into extra time.

TCU scored the first four points of overtime, grabbing the lead for good.
Head coach Jim Christian said he could see in his team’s body language that they were not going to go down easy.

“When we got down, I knew they were coming back,” Christian said. “I just thought our kids were so resilient and made some big plays. I’m just so happy for those seniors. We’ve had some opportunities against great teams like this in the past.”

Thorns said he hopes the win quiets the critics.

“We got the No. 11 team in the country,” Thorns said. “And all the doubters, I hope we shut them up. There’s still some doubters, who’ll see our record and say TCU can’t compete. We showed we can.”

TCU out-rebounded the Rebels 46-31, 12 of those coming from J.R. Cadot, whose put-back layup with 35 seconds left gave the Frogs a five-point lead and forced UNLV to start fouling.

Cadot said he simply followed the lead of Thorns, something he will do until the end.

“I’m going to follow him until the ship sinks,” Cadot said. “I’m always going to follow Hank. No matter what he does – right or wrong – I’m always going to support and follow Hank.”

Cadot finished with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Christian said his team dominated the boards on pure will, something they knew they had to do against an athletic UNLV team.

“They’re all a handful to keep off the board,” Christian said. “But we had 19 offensive rebounds on sheer determination. I was just so proud of that because that was one of the things we emphasized coming in.”

Fields added 17 points, including 11 after halftime, four coming in overtime.

Moser led UNLV with 22 points.

Christian said the Frogs’ win was as legitimate as they come – nothing got handed to them.

“We won this game,” Christian said. “UNLV is a phenomenal team. They played very, very well tonight. I’m not taking anything away from them. But don’t take anything away from us. They didn’t give us this game. We won this game.”

Christian said the 4,710 fans in attendance Tuesday night got to see something special.

“If you’re a TCU fan, and you weren’t here, and you missed it,” Christian said. “You missed one hell of a game tonight.”

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