Justin Jackson finished with his first career double-double -- 10 points and 10 rebounds -- as Cincinnati improved to 2-0 before a crowd of 7,028.
The win was just the second for the Bearcats in eight games against the Wolfpack.
The teams combined for 12 ties and eight lead changes.
Kilpatrick scored five unanswered points on two free throws and a 3-pointer to give Cincinnati a 51-48 lead with 9:45 left in the game.
Cincinnati went on to lead by 14 before settling for the 11-point win. The Bearcats made 23 free throws, while N.C. State only attempted 21, making 12. Both teams shot under 40 percent for the game.
N.C. State was called for a technical foul with 1:07 left in the second half for having six players on the floor.
The game, part of the Global Sports Shootout, was the second of seven straight home games to open the season for Cincinnati, which is scheduled to play Appalachian State on Saturday. N.C. State returns home to face Campbell on Saturday.
Neither team led by more than five points in an evenly played first half that included 10 ties and six lead changes before ending with a 35-35 score. N.C. State was 11-of-28 from the field, while the Bearcats were 11-of-27.