San Juan, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Thorne, Jr. scored 16 points and
grabbed 11 rebounds, leading Charlotte to a 68-61 victory over Kansas State in
the opener of the Puerto Rico Tip-off.
Willie Clayton also provided a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards,
while Denzel Ingram chipped in 12 points for the 49ers (3-1), who will face
the winner between Georgetown and Northeastern in Friday's semifinals.
Nigel Johnson scored 14 points for Kansas State (2-2), which had won two
straight after a season-opening loss to Northern Colorado. Shane Southwell and
Marcus Foster both added 11 points in defeat, but the two guards combined to
make just 1-of-14 from beyond the arc.
The 49ers broke it open early in the second half with a 20-7 run. Thorne
scored the first five points to snap a 32-32 tie and added another three-point
play during the burst, which Shawn Lester capped with a layup for a 52-39
Back came the Wildcats with a 14-4 surge to make it 56-53, but Ingram buried a
three for Charlotte and a Terrence Williams layup on the next trip quickly
extended the margin back to eight with just over two minutes remaining. Kansas
State got only as close as six from there.
Charlotte used a 13-0 run to build a 20-8 advantage early, but Kansas State
followed with a 13-2 spurt and pulled within 22-21 on a bucket by Wesley
Iwundu. It remained close for the remainder of the first half, which ended
with a Will Spradling driving layup for K-State to tie the game at 30-30.
The Sports Network