WORCESTER, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Brendan Plavich looked like he was going to shoot Charlotte into the second round. But Julius Hodge and Cameron Bennerman had other ideas.
Hodge had 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and scored seven points during a critical second-half run that helped 10th-seeded North Carolina State to a 75-63 victory over No. 7 Charlotte in first-round action of the Syracuse Region.
"The way we've been playing the last week, we already had a fire lit under us," Hodge said. "We've been playing great but late in the second half, I just told the guys, 'This is it, we have to step it up.' As a whole, as a team, we realize that it's one and done this time of year."
Plavich, the nation's leading 3-point maker at 3.9 per game, knocked down five from the arc in the first half as the 49ers jumped out to a 14-point lead on four different occasions before settling for a 36-29 lead at the break.
"I thought the leadership that Julius and some of our other guys gave today was extraordinary," Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek said. "They made sure we continued to battle, that we maintained our composure and continued to battle, that we maintained our poise and composure when we fell behind, 18-4."
Trailing, 49-40, with 15 1/2 minutes left, the Wolfpack went on a 19-5 run, sparked by Hodge and seven points from Bennerman to take a 59-54 edge.
Charlotte scored the next five points to tie the game with four minutes to go before Ilian Evtimov hit a 3-pointer that ignited a 9-2 run that gave North Carolina State a 68-61 edge with 54 seconds remaining.
Andrew Brackman scored 16 points and Bennerman and Evtimov added 12 for the Wolfpack (20-13).
Plavich was shut out in the second half and finished with 15 points. Curtis Withers and Eddie Basden also had 15 apiece to lead the 49ers (21-8).
"Cameron Bennerman played an unbelievable defensive game in the second half," Sendek said. "We showed our guys on tape, and we certainly practiced with awareness of Brendan Plavich and his tremendous 3-point shooting but I guess seeing is believing for our guys. After he lit us up for five threes, Cameron just did a great job to allow us to advance."
Plavich, who knocked down eight 3-pointers against Cincinnati earlier this season, hit his first four 3-point attempts and was 5-of-7 in the first half before Bennerman put the clamps on the sharpshooter in the second half.
"I thought I would start out the game covering him, but I didn't, so I just wanted to watch Engin (Atsur) to see what he was doing on him," Bennerman said. "I really just wanted to limit his opportunities and make it as hard as possible on him."
"They adjusted in the second half," added Plavich, who missed all three 3-point attempts in the second half. "They did a great job. They were grabbing my jersey and whatnot, but that's just part of the game. I couldn't breathe out there. He got the job done."
The red-hot 49ers made seven of their first eight shots from the floor and their first five from beyond the arc before Basden's 3-point miss with 10:39 remaining in the first half.
"We've gotten ourselves down in games before, this season," Bennerman said. "With the stakes so high here in the tournament, we knew we had to pick ourselves up before it got too late. We (juniors and seniors) just try and lead by example, try and light that fire under the younger guys and keep it going with the momentum for the rest of the game."
North Carolina State held Charlotte to 9-of-33 shooting in the second half while making 55.2 percent (16-29) of its own shots.
"It was obviously a tale of two halves," Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. "We played extremely well in the first half and were the aggressor. We were able to get a nice lead and knew N.C. State would make runs. We were able to maintain but in the second half, it was reverse."
The Wolfpack will face defending champion Connecticut in the second round on Sunday.