SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shawn Lester had 20 points and Ben Cherry added 18 as Charlotte overpowered Northeastern in the final 10 minutes to preserve an 86-77 victory in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The win was the 49ers third straight and sets up a championship game matchup with the winner of Florida State and Michigan on Sunday.
Charlotte led by nine at halftime, but had to stave off a flurry by Northeastern, which tied it back up with less than 10 minutes to play in the game.
The Huskies went cold for a spell from both the foul line and the field, though, and were never able to take the lead back as the 49ers knocked down their free-throws in the closing minutes.
Northeastern's Scott Eatherton had 22 points and 11 rebounds to post his second straight double-double of the tournament.
Demetrius Pollard added 14 points.