Samuels had 14 points and 11 rebounds the Cardinals (15-8, 6-4 Big East), who led 47-43 with 16:20 to play before going on a 10-2 spurt for a 57-45 advantage with 12:23 left. Smith scored five points during the spurt.
Louisville led 63-50 with 8:53 remaining when the Scarlet Knights scored six straight points to close within 63-56 with 7:13 to play. But the Cardinals went on an 8-2 run for a 71-58 lead, as Rutgers got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Smith made 5 of 9 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. Samuels made 4 of 7 shots. Senior guard Edgar Soso had 13 points and eight assists, while Jared Swopeshsire added 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Rutgers (11-12, 2-9) had its two-game winning streak snapped.