SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Syracuse woke up, but it was too late.
Brendan Plavich set a Carrier Dome record with 10 3-pointers as Charlotte held on for a 96-92 victory over the seventh-ranked Orangemen, who were opening defense of their national championship.
A Vanderbilt transfer who scored 31 points, Plavich made 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first half, helping the 49ers (2-1) race to a surprising 50-29 lead.
"I've been shooting the ball well the last two games," said Plavich, who also set a school record for 3-pointers in a game. "I was just catching it and I was open."
Playing without Carmelo Anthony, the Most Outstanding Player in last season's Final Four and third overall pick in the NBA draft, Syracuse trailed, 61-38, with 15:52 remaining before finally waking up.
Gerry McNamara fueled the comeback with eight 3-pointers and 34 points, both career highs.
"If we play like we did tonight, we might win 10 or 12 games, maybe," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We have to play our best to be in every game this year against everybody we play - and I mean every game. We have a major problem shooting the ball from the perimeter. We have to find someone to shoot the ball. We're not going to win many games if we don't."
McNamara's final 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 93-90 with 17 seconds remaining, but Charlotte's Eddie Basden hit a pair from the line a second later.
With eight seconds left, Syracuse's Josh Pace was fouled attempting a 3-pointer but made just two free throws. Basden split two from the line four seconds later to seal the win.
"This is the biggest non-conference win for us since I've been here," said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz, who is in his sixth year. "I saw in their eyes that they felt they had a chance to win. They believed they could win and they went out and backed it up."
The loss snapped a 19-game winning streak for the Orangemen (0-1), who were defeated at the Carrier Dome for the first time since a 69-65 defeat against Boston College on March 5, 2002. Syracuse was 17-0 at home last season.
"To win the national championship and come out the way we played in the first half tonight was just embarrassing," McNamara said.
Curtis Withers and Basen scored 16 points apiece for Charlotte, which was coming off a 102-39 rout of North Carolina A&T. The 49ers remained hot, shooting 52.5 percent (31-of-59) against Syracuse, including 57 percent (17-of-30) in the first half.
Hakim Warrick scored 20 points and Pace added 15 for the Orangemen, who were outrebounded, 43-37.