Smith had big plays at key moments on both ends of the court to help WVU fend off a determined effort from the Scarlet Knights. Offensively, Smith hit two early three-pointers to help stake WVU to an early 16-4 lead. In the second half, with the lead at six, Smith canned two identicall jumpers from 18 feet to push West Virginia's lead out to nine and blunt Rutgers' final push to win the game.
As big as those shots were, Smith's defense might have been just as important. He blocked five shots, including a critical rejection of Rutgers' Gregory Echenique with WVU leading by just six. He followed that with a jumper of his own that sparked WVU's final run.
For the game, Smith scored 12 points and had three rebounds, three assists and a steal to go along with his five rejections. He had just one turnover in 31 minutes of action.
In the last three minutes of the first half, Kevin Jones and Dee Proby combined to make five consecutive shots from the key, where Rutgers' zone defenders did not want to roam. That mini-burst pushed WVU's lead from five points to a comfortable 12 at the half. Down the stretch, Wellington Smith hit a pair of jumpers from the same area, and then WVU attacked a bit more aggressively. Devin Ebanks scored and got two different trips to the free throw line. That push helped WVU increase its lead from five to 11 and put the Scarlet Knights into a hole from which it could not escape.