HOUSTON (AP) James Kelly scored 32 points, including Marshall's last nine, and the Thundering Herd edged Rice 94-90 Saturday night.
Kelly was 13 of 19 from the field.
Stevie Browning scored 20 points, C.J. Burks had 14, and Ryan Taylor added 14 points and 15 rebounds for Marshall (9-9, 5-0 Conference USA).
Marcus Evans led the Owls (6-12, 1-4) with 29 points. Marquez Letcher-Eills scored a career-high 28, on 11-of-18 shooting, and Max Guercy had a season-high 12 assists.
Kelly's 3-pointer with 2:08 put Marshall up by eight, 92-84. Rice scored the next six points to make it a two-point game, on Evans' layup with 13 seconds left.
Kelly made a layup on the next possession to seal it.
Marshall shot 55.7 percent (34 of 61) from the field, including 11 of 22 from 3-point range, and hit 15 of 19 free throw attempts.