Coach Al Skinner commented on Smith's second half, saying, "What we did was start moving him around a little bit. We were trying to get him stationary in the first half, which obviously wasn't very effective. Rutgers did a good job of double and triple-teaming and just attacking him when he's got the ball. In the second half, we moved him around a little bit more. He got some good looks and was able to score some points."
The Eagles had trouble once again getting their offense going in the first half against a zone. Forcing the ball to Smith resulted in several turnovers and missed opportunities down low.
"When a team plays a zone, it's going to take us a little while to attack it," said Skinner. "Because of the way we play, the game's going to be a little bit slower."
Sean Marshall nearly had a career night for the Eagles, missing his career high of 23 points by one in missing his only free throw attempt of the night by failing to convert a four-point play.
Marshall had his most productive night of the season, hitting 4 of 8 three-point attempts and grabbing six rebounds.
The sophomore guard from Rialto, California said he felt good during warm-ups about his shot on this night, commenting, "I got a rhythm before the game. I came out, shot around early, just tried to focus on getting a rhythm. I wanted to go in the game nice and warm, ready to shoot, because I knew they were going to play a zone."
Dudley joined his two Californian teammates in double figures, notching his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Steve Hailey returned to action tonight, playing just six minutes, all in the first half.
The Eagles return to action Saturday night at 6:00 (ESPN) to face the 9th-ranked Syracuse Orange at Conte Forum.