GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Miguel Paul scored 22 points and handed out 10 assists as East Carolina defeated Marshall 86-79 Saturday night in their final game before next week's Conference USA tournament.
Maurice Kemp added 21 points for the Pirates (18-11, 9-7), who posted a winning conference record for the first time since joining in the 2001-02 season.
East Carolina will have a bye into the tournament quarterfinals Thursday. The Thundering Herd (13-18, 6-10), who defeated the Pirates 77-56 in their regular-season meeting, will play a first-round game Wednesday.
Paul's two free throws gave East Carolina an 84-79 lead with 12 seconds left. The Pirates made 27 of 33 free throws in the second half to Marshall's 10 of 12.