Mike Thorne had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Denzel Ingram added 12 as UNC Charlotte held off a late second half charge and beat Kansas State 68-61 in the opening game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan on Thursday.
Charlotte led by as many as 13 points in the second half and won their second straight despite being held under 80 points for the first time this season.
Nigel Johnson led the Wildcats with 14 points.
K-State's loss ends a two-game win streak. The Wildcats led only once in the game, and struggled in the paint where they were outrebounded 46-34. It was the third time this season they have been beaten on the boards.
The 49ers will play the winner of Northeastern and Georgetown Friday.