Mike Scott led Virginia (2-1) with 13 points and eight rebounds. The Cavaliers play Drexel in a losers bracket game Saturday.
With 2:44 left in the game, Thorns hit a deep 3-pointer from the left wing as Virginia defender Sammy Zeglinski was falling down to put TCU up 48-41. About a minute later, Thorns penetrated the lane and connected on a floater.
“He certainly made some plays—and that’s what it takes,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett.
The Cavaliers trailed by five with 15.2 seconds left but still had a chance to win. A Joe Harris 3-pointer cut the Horned Frogs’ lead to two. Virginia’s Jontel Evans then stole the TCU inbound pass and passed it ahead to Harris, but his 3-pointer bounced off the front rim and the Cavaliers couldn’t get another shot off as time expired.
“I’m satisfied, but I’m not surprised,” said TCU coach Jim Christian, when asked if beating an ACC opponent was a statement win. “I think a lot of people who don’t see us every day and people who just watched the Florida Gulf Coast game (a 73-72 season-opening win), they didn’t know how hard our team played.
“We were waiting for this moment … we were expecting to win this basketball game. We have to play like that every night. The team that played the hardest won.”
The game wasn’t pretty. The teams combined for 40 turnovers.
Virginia got off to a strong start. The Cavaliers’ defense was good early, holding TCU to just nine points over the game’s first 10 minutes. The Cavaliers twice forced TCU into shot clock violations.
Things changed late in the half, however, when Virginia committed turnovers on four straight trips down the court.