Damier Pitts scored a career-high 28 points to help Marshall hold off East Carolina 78-65 on Saturday.

Shaquille Johnson added 14 for the Thundering Herd (16-9, 4-6 Conference USA), who led by 27 points in the second half before the Pirates staged a frantic rally to get within five with 5 minutes left. But Pitts broke the fullcourt press and hit a layup over Robert Sampson, then Johnson hit a jumper with the shot clock winding down for a 62-53 lead with 4:05 left.

The Pirates (13-11, 5-5) never got closer, with Pitts adding a late 3-pointer and hitting four straight free throws before fouling out with 1:39 left.

Jontae Sherrod scored 19 points for East Carolina, which shot 30 percent to fall behind 34-21 at halftime. Then Pitts hit a 3 to give Marshall its largest lead at 50-23 with 13:53 to play.

Marshall also took a 44-22 rebounding advantage to offset 28 turnovers.