BOSTON (AP) — Harvard guard Siyani Chambers hears plenty about history and tradition at the nation’s oldest university.
When it comes to the Crimson’s crosstown rival, he doesn’t pay much attention.
Chambers scored 21 points and Wesley Saunders added 18 to lead Harvard to a 79-63 victory over Boston College on Tuesday night. It was the Crimson’s fifth consecutive victory over its regional, power-conference rival.
‘‘The name of the school doesn’t matter,’’ said Chambers, a freshman. ‘‘I just know it’s the next game on the schedule. I don’t know about the tradition or anything like that. No matter if it’s an in-town game or an out-of-town game, we just try to bring the same intensity every night.’’
Harvard (4-3) has beaten Boston College (3-5) in five straight seasons — all in Chestnut Hill — since beginning a yearly series. In 2009, the Crimson beat the 17th-ranked Eagles 82-70 three days after BC beat No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Since then, BC’s program has continued to plummet — the Eagles have not been ranked since — and Harvard’s has been improving. The Crimson, who had never won an Ivy League title, shared the conference crown in 2011 and won it outright last spring to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1946.
‘‘They’re a good team and a good program. They’re going to be good this year and next year,’’ BC coach Steve Donahue said. ‘‘I think people in this area are confused. They think this is your father’s Harvard. They can beat a lot of teams in the country.’’
Both coaches said they wanted the series to continue.
‘‘It’s been very meaningful for us; we’re thankful for the opportunity to play Boston College,’’ Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. ‘‘We've been fortunate, but whether that’s the outcome or not, it’s an opportunity to play an ACC team. ... I think it’s great for our city, great for our community.’’
Chambers scored eight points during a 15-1 run early in the second half that turned a six-point lead into a 57-37 advantage with 12 ½ minutes to play.
Ryan Anderson scored 23 with seven rebounds for Boston College, which was without starting center Dennis Clifford, who sat on the bench with his right foot in a boot.
Andrew Van Nest, who played for Harvard as an undergraduate but is now at BC for graduate school, scored four points for the Eagles against his former team.
Harvard had been a favorite to repeat as Ivy League champions before losing its co-captains before the start of the season to an academic cheating scandal. Before beating Fordham in their previous game, the Crimson had lost to Vermont and Saint Joseph's.
‘‘Just really got beat by a team that’s done a tremendous job over the years of building a culture,’’ said Donahue, who was at Cornell for 10 years before coming to BC in April of 2010. ‘‘They don’t have the pieces they've had, but when you have a culture, the next guy knows what his job is.’’
It was 42-36 when Chambers drove to the basket for a score to start the 15-1 run that lasted 4:23. He finished it up with a 3-pointer and then a three-point play that gave the Crimson the 57-37 lead.