Charlotte 96

(2-1, 1-0 away)

(7) Syracuse 92

(0-1, 0-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 26, 2003

    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

    1 2 T
    CHAR 50 4696
    #7SYR 29 6392

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: B. Plavich 31 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast

    Syracuse: G. McNamara 34 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 5 Stl

    Plavich hits record 10 treys in upset

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Jim Boeheim never thought his team could cruise through the early part of this season on the momentum of a national championship.

    Charlotte proved he was right, beating the Orangemen in their season opener 96-92 Wednesday night. Brendan Plavich set a Carrier Dome record with 10 3s and finished with 31 points.

    After going 17-0 in the Carrier Dome last season, the Orangemen have now lost two straight. Two weeks ago, they were humbled 83-70 by the physical Harlem Globetrotters in an exhibition game.

    "If we play like we did tonight, we might have a chance to win 10 or 12 games this year," Boeheim said. "I had this fear coming in.

    "We have to play to the best of our ability every game this year to be in the game with everybody we play. That's where I think our team is. I'm going on two relatively tough games. They haven't provided any reason for optimism in these two games."

    Now, the title the Orangemen won last April behind the stellar play of Carmelo Anthony, is little more than a memory. Gerry McNamara, a major player in that run, has a new one -- one that will bother him for a while.

    "For us to come out soft like that after winning the national championship, that's embarrassing," said McNamara, who scored 28 of his career-high 34 points in the second half to lead the Orangemen on a furious rally from a 23-point deficit. "You can't do that. We have a target on our back now."

    The fiery McNamara wore the biggest target in the first half as the 49ers stifled him at every turn with a variety of defenses. While he was 2-for-4 shooting as he struggled to find any opening, Plavich was wide open time after time and converted seven 3s to lead Charlotte to a stunning 50-29 halftime lead.

    "When I'm open, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad," said Plavich, was just 2-for-12 in Charlotte's season-opening loss to George Washington. "I didn't have a good game last time, but coach told me not to worry about it. That's made a big difference right there."

    The 49ers (2-1) shot 56.7 percent and held Syracuse to 35.3-percent shooting in the opening half, then barely held on.

    "That's as good was we can play," Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. "We really thought we had a chance coming into the game. We had a real good game plan and thought our ability to change defenses kept them off-balance."

    Plavich scored 22 points in the first half to match his previous career high 31. He hit his last 3-pointer with 5:33 left for an 84-69 edge, but the Orangemen weren't finished just yet.

    McNamara, who hit seven of his career-high eight 3s in the second half, scored eight points to lead Syracuse on a 17-7 run. A hook by Hakim Warrick pulled Syracuse to 91-86 with 58.5 seconds to go, and a 3-pointer by McNamara with 17.8 seconds left made it 93-90.

    With the partisan crowd roaring, Eddie Basden calmly sank two free throws with 16.1 seconds left to give the 49ers a 95-90 lead.

    Josh Pace was then fouled on a 3-point shot from the top of the key. He sank two of the ensuing free throws to move Syracuse within three points. But he missed the third. The rebound barely eluded Syracuse center Jeremy McNeil, and the 49ers escaped.

    Basden and Curtis Withers added 16 points apiece for Charlotte.

    Warrick finished with 20 points, Pace had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Billy Edelin had 13 points and 10 assists for Syracuse.

    The Orangemen's three freshmen -- Terrence Roberts, Darryl Watkins and Demetris Nichols -- combined to play 18 minutes, took five shots, and did not score. In his freshman debut last year, Anthony, who jumped to the NBA in June, had 27 points and 11 rebounds, but the Orangemen still lost to Memphis.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 92
    FG Made-Attempted 31-59 (.525) 35-74 (.473)
    3P Made-Attempted 13-31 (.419) 8-19 (.421)
    FT Made-Attempted 21-33 (.636) 14-25 (.560)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 25 (0/0)

    2003-04 Season

    » Nov 26, 2003 CHAR 96, @SYR 92Recap