BOSTON (AP) — Harvard’s Tommy Amaker still feels the influence that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski provided. It’s helped lead him through a successful coaching career.
Amaker became the winningest coach in Harvard history on Wednesday night when Chris Lewis scored a season-high 22 points and Seth Towns had 18 to lead the Crimson to a 74-66 road victory over local rival Boston College.
It was Amaker’s 179th win in his 10th season, moving him ahead of his predecessor, Frank Sullivan (178-245), who was the coach from 1991-2007.
“I’ll communicate with coach for sure,” Amaker said. “He has so many different guys that he likes to keep track of. I don’t want to be a burden in any way, but obviously his influence has been paramount. It’s been as big as it comes for me.
“I’ve always thought of him as an amazing teacher, leader. I’ve always tried emulate some of the things he’s taught through the years.”
A star guard with the Blue Devils from 1983-87, the 52-year-old Amaker felt he could take Harvard to a successful level that’s led to five Ivy League titles in the past six seasons.
“We always thought if we could build our basketball program to go along with the things that happen at Harvard, we would feel good about ourselves, and we’ve done that,” he said.
It was the third straight victory for Harvard (4-4).
Jerome Robinson led Boston College (4-4) with 25 points. A.J. Turner scored 13.
The Crimson looked dedicated to driving to the basket on most possessions from the start, collecting a number of easy looks when they shot near 60 percent in the opening minutes. It triggered a 13-2 spree that helped them open a 23-10 lead.
“The last couple of games I was encouraged of what we were doing defensively, but we took a step back,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “We’d played seven games. These guys have played a lot of minutes—bad defense is bad defense.”
The Crimson pushed their advantage to 39-21 after Bryce Aiken‘s driving basket capped a 6-0 spurt.
The Eagles trailed by 19 points with just under 10 minutes to play, but made a late charge, closing the deficit to 69-60 on Robinson’s 3-pointer from the left corner.
Both teams then went nearly three minutes without a basket before Harvard closed it out.