Jim Boeheim achieved another milestone in his impressive career at Syracuse, and yet passing Bob Knight for second place all time on the victory list almost seemed like an afterthought.
‘‘I'm proud to be able to do that. I'm happy to get it done,’’ Boeheim said after his seventh-ranked Orange defeated Rutgers, 78-53, Wednesday night in Syracuse, N.Y., for his 903d victory, one more than Knight among men’s Division 1 coaches. ‘‘To me, this game is not about numbers, it really isn't. It’s not about how many points you score or the assists you get. It’s about all the people, all the people you meet on the way. It’s been an unbelievable experience.’’
Boeheim, in his 37th season at his alma mater, trails only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who has 940 victories, and he was more touched by the phone calls and letters than anything else.
‘‘I got a call from [former St. John’s star] Chris Mullin, I think after 900,’’ Boeheim said. ‘‘That call meant as much to me as anything because he’s the best player, you could argue, who’s played in this league. And I got a note from [Butler] coach Brad Stevens, which is interesting because I'm probably his biggest fan. He just thanked me for my contributions to the game.
‘‘If a young coach thinks that way about me, then I'm really happy. That’s what I'm really proud about.’’
Boeheim was also proud of the way Syracuse (13-1, 1-0 Big East) performed en route to its 33d straight home victory, the longest active streak in the nation.
Brandon Triche had a season-high 25 points, hitting 5 of 7 3-point attempts, and added 6 assists and 4 steals to lead Syracuse.
Maine 63, Boston University 58 — Alasdair Fraser scored 17 points as the Black Bears (6-8, 1-0) rallied from a 9-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Terriers (6-8, 0-1) in the America East Conference opener for both teams at Orono, Maine.
Duke 67, Davidson 50 — Ryan Kelly scored 18 points to help the No. 1 Blue Devils (13-0) remain unbeaten with a victory over the Wildcats (7-6) in Charlotte, N.C.
Louisville 80, Providence 62 — Russ Smith scored a game-high 23 points and the fourth-ranked Cardinals (13-1, 1-0) shot 53 percent to run away from the Friars (8-5, 0-1) in the Big East Conference opener for both at Louisville, Ky.
Butler 70, Penn 57 — In Indianapolis, Roosevelt Jones scored a career-high 24 points to lift the No. 17 Bulldogs (11-2) over the Quakers (2-10) for their eighth straight victory.
Ohio State 70, Nebraska 44 — Deshaun Thomas outscored the Cornhuskers (9-5, 0-1) in the first half, 18-17, and finished with 22 points as the eighth-ranked Buckeyes (11-2, 1-0) cruised in the Big Ten opener for both at Columbus, Ohio.
Purdue 68, Illinois 61 — Terone Johnson scored a career-high 25 points and D.J. Byrd scored 9 of his 15 during a key 19-3 second-half run, sending the Boilermakers (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) past the No. 11 Fighting Illini (13-2, 0-1) in West Lafayette, Ind.
Creighton 79, Illinois State 72 — Ethan Wragge was 6 of 9 from 3-point range and scored 18 points to lead the No. 16 Bluejays (13-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference) over the Redbirds, (9-5, 0-2) in Normal, Ill.
San Diego St. 72, Cal State Bakersfield 57 — Jamaal Franklin had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Chase Tapley scored 14 points to lead the No. 19 Aztecs (12-2) over the Roadrunners (6-11) in San Diego.
Vermont 64, New Hampshire 51 — Candon Rusin scored 15 points as the Catamounts (8-5) defeated the Wildcats (4-9) in the teams’ America East Conference opener at Durham, N.H.
Baylor 74, TCU 35 — Brittney Griner had 24 points — including a dunk — and 12 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Lady Bears (11-1, 1-0) over Big 12 newcomer the Horned Frogs (7-5, 0-1) in the conference opener for both in Fort Worth. Odyssey Sims scored 14 points and Brooklyn Pope added 12 for Baylor, which took control with a 20-0 run in the first half to win its eighth straight game.
Boston University 72, Stony Brook 61 — Chantell Alford had a game-high 23 points as the Terriers (11-3, 1-0 ) extended their winning streak to eight games by beating the Seawolves (8-6, 0-1) in the America East opener for both teams in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Hampton 60, Boston College 57 — Kerri Shields scored 17 points and the Eagles (6-6) cut a 14-point deficit to 1 with 22 seconds left but couldn’t overcome the Pirates (10-5) in Hampton, Va.
Harvard 85, UMass 59 — Christine Clark became the 18th member of the school’s 1,000-point club with 19 points to help the Crimson (8-5) cruise past the Minutewomen (2-12) in Cambridge.