Last year, Wagner beat 15th-ranked Pittsburgh 59-54 on the Panthers' tough home court at the Peterson Events Center. It was one of 12 road victories for the Seahawks, which led the NCAA.
No such luck on Sunday.
Brandon Triche had 21 points and seven rebounds, James Southerland added 15 points and three blocks, and No. 8 Syracuse beat the Seahawks 88-57.
Syracuse (2-0) has won 23 straight home games and 34 in a row in the Carrier Dome against nonconference foes. The Orange opened its season on the road a week ago with a 62-49 win over then-No. 20 San Diego State on the flight deck of the former aircraft carrier USS Midway.
After a pedestrian first half, Syracuse had a blistering second, shooting 67.9 percent (19 of 28) to pull away as coach Jim Boeheim gave nine players 13 minutes or more of floor time. Wagner (0-2) committed 23 turnovers that the Orange converted into 29 points and was outscored 18-6 on the fast break.
"You turn the ball over 23 times against those guys, it's curtains," said Wagner coach Bashir Mason, in his first year with the Seahawks. "Those guys are extremely good at getting out and running. We didn't make shots from the perimeter when we had them. Our guys made mistakes that were costly."
Wagner was outrebounded 49-36, though the Seahawks held their own on the offensive glass (Syracuse held a 15-13 edge), went 5 for 17 from behind the arc, and missed 10 free throws.
"We got outrebounded. Their size has a lot to do with it, but it's no excuse," said Jonathon Williams, who led Wagner with 14 points and nine rebounds. "We just need to box out more and be stronger.
"This is a learning experience," Williams said. "Later down the road we'll have a better chance of playing with them. It's not who's better now, it's who's better in February. I think we'll be there when the time comes."
Syracuse sure thinks it will.
Baye Moussa Keita had a career-high 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, all in the second half. Michael Carter-Williams had a career-high 11 assists, and Trevor Cooney had eight points and five steals for Syracuse.
Wagner, which opened the season with a 73-69 overtime loss at Delaware State on Wednesday, missed its first five shots and trailed 9-3 after Triche's tip just over 5 minutes in. And after a layup by Jonathon Williams tied it at 18-all midway through the half, the Seahawks couldn't find many openings in the Orange's 2-3 zone.
Syracuse outscored Wagner 18-5 to close the half, holding the Seahawks to one basket over the final 8:26 to gain a 36-23 lead.
The Orange used their superior size to create all sorts of problems. Wagner was 8 of 32 shooting (25 percent), missing several layups. It committed 13 turnovers, and was called for 13 fouls to just five for Syracuse in the half.
Syracuse wasn't much better from the floor, shooting 13 of 36 (36.1 percent) and hitting just 1 of 10 from beyond the arc, but began to pull away by getting in close and getting to the free-throw line when the shots didn't fall.
After Marcus Burton made one of three free throws to give Wagner its only lead at 19-18, Syracuse began to take control.
A layup by Jerami Grant, a tip by Cooney, and two baskets by Triche, one a fast-break dunk off a pass from Carter-Williams, gave the Orange a 26-21 lead with 6:32 left.
Dajuan Coleman followed with a turnaround jumper in the lane, and Southerland drove the lane and converted a floater to keep the rally going.
C.J. Fair began the second half with a 3 from the left corner, Triche converted a layup and a pair of free throws, and Carter-Williams' three-point play off a steal and dunk boosted the lead to 40-20 in the first 3 minutes.
A flurry of nine points by Keita in a four-minute span upped the lead to 75-52 and consecutive slams by Triche and Grant made it 84-54 with just over 3 minutes left.