SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Jim Boeheim achieved another milestone in his impressive coaching career at Syracuse, yet passing Bob Knight for second place 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 for his 903rd victory, one more than Knight among men's Division I 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, 68, 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) performed in the Big East opener en route to its 33rd straight home victory, the longest active streak in the nation. The Orange has beaten Rutgers 13 straight times.
Brandon Triche had a season-high 25 points, hitting 5 of 7 3-pointers, and added six assists and four steals to lead Syracuse. Michael Carter-Williams finished with 12 points and 10 assists, and C.J. Fair had 15 points and three blocks.
Eli Carter led Rutgers with 19 points.
NO. 1 DUKE 67, DAVIDSON 50: Ryan Kelly scored 18, Quinn Cook scored 15 and Mason Plumlee scored eight of his 10 in the second half for the visiting Blue Devils (13-0).
NO. 4 L'VILLE 80, PROVIDENCE 62: Russ Smith scored 23 and the host Cardinals (13-1) shot 53 percent en route to their eight straight win in their Big East opener.
NO. 8 OHIO ST. 70, NEB. 44: Deshaun Thomas outscored the Cornhuskers in the first half 18-17 and finished with 22 points to lead the host Buckeyes (11-2), who won their 15th consecutive Big Ten home opener.
PURDUE 68, NO. 11 ILLINOIS 61: Terone Johnson had a career-high 25 points and D.J. Byrd scored nine of his 15 during a key 19-3 second-half run, helping the host Boilermakers win their eighth straight over the Illini (13-2) in a Big Ten opener.
NO. 16 CREIGHTON 79, ILL. ST. 72: Grant Gibbs had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the visiting Bluejays (13-1), who avoided an upset bid in their Missouri Valley Conference opener and a rematch of last year's championship game.
NO. 17 BUTLER 70, PENN 57: Roosevelt Jones scored a career-high 24 to lead the host Bulldogs (11-2) to their eighth consecutive victory overall and their ninth in a row to open a new year.
NO. 19 SDSU 72, CS BAKERSFIELD 57: Jamaal Franklin had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the host Aztecs (12-2) in their final tuneup before opening Mountain West play.
MIAMI 76, LA SALLE 59: Shane Larkin and Durand Scott scored 18 each to lead the host Hurricanes (9-3), who broke the game open with a 16-2 run midway through the second half.
FIU 88, FAMU 72: Tymell Murphy had career highs of 24 points and 20 rebounds as the host Panthers pulled away in the second half from the Rattlers (4-10).
SAINT LEO 73, P.B. ATLANTIC 67: Marcus Ruh had 26 points for the visiting Lions (8-2), who used a 12-1 second-half run to erase a one-point deficit and win their fifth straight game.
NO. 2 BAYLOR 74, TCU 35: Brittney Griner had 24 points, including a dunk, and 12 rebounds to lead the visiting Bears (11-1) over the Big 12 newcomer Red Raiders in their conference opener. Baylor won its eighth in a row.
TEXAS TECH 64, NO. 13 OKLA. ST. 59: Chynna Brown scored 15, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, and the visiting Raiders stopped a 17-game winning streak by the Cowgirls (11-1) in a Big 12 opener.
NO. 14 PURDUE 67, ILL. 66, OT: Courtney Moses hit a jumper with 3 seconds left in overtime to lift the visiting Boilermakers (12-2) in their Big Ten opener.
NO. 17 OKLA. 71, W. VA. 68: Aaryn Ellenberg scored 19 to lead five players in double figures for the host Sooners (11-2), who spoiled the Mountaineers' Big 12 debut.
NO. 21 KANSAS 72, KANSAS ST. 63: Angel Goodrich scored 17 to lead five players in double figures for the host Jayhawks (10-2) in a Big 12 opener.
NO. 25 NEBRASKA 70, WIS. 52: Lindsey Moore had 26 points and Emily Cady 14 rebounds for the host Cornhuskers (11-3) in their Big Ten opener.