BANGOR — Zarko Valjarevic had two sweet releases in a row Tuesday night.

The first came on his jumper from the left baseline that rippled through the net as the buzzer sounded and gave his Maine men’s basketball team an 82-81 overtime victory over Wagner.

The second came when he rushed to the media table and jumped atop to roar along with the crowd of 851 at the Cross Insurance Center, finally able to shed the weight of 13 losses in his previous 14 college games.

“I don’t even remember (running to the media table). Nothing goes through your mind. It’s just emotions,” Valjarevic said.

When was the last time he’d felt that good after a game?

“The UMBC win last year. A long time ago,” he said of that 83-80 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County way back on Feb. 1.

Maine (1-5) won its home opener, the first victory as a head coach for its new boss, Bob Walsh.

And it did so because Shaun Lawton made two clutch free throws to force overtime, then waited patiently for Valjarevic to set a screen and come open on the final inbounds play, which started with 1.7 seconds remaining.

And because Valjarevic, who had missed his previous three shots in overtime, was true on the one that mattered.

“It was absolutely what we drew up,” Walsh said of the final play, which saw Valjarevic set a screen for center Till Gloger, who drew two defenders as he headed for the rim. That gave Valjarevic the room he needed to be the hero.

“As soon as I saw him pop out and Shaun delivered the ball, I said, ‘Got ’em.’ I knew we had them. And I knew Zarko, he wasn’t missing that one,” Walsh said.

Valjarevic, Maine’s lone senior, finished with 17 points. Gloger led the Black Bears with 21.

Lawton scored 18 points and had six assists in his game-high 41 minutes.

The team was heading to the hospital for the postgame celebration. That’s where sophomore guard C.J. Ward was awaiting ankle surgery after a gruesome pregame injury that delayed the start by 15 minutes.

Ward was in the layup line when he landed awkwardly and felt his left ankle snap. He pounded the floor in pain and frustration while awaiting medical help, then delivered a message to his concerned teammates when they gathered around him.

“He was like, ‘Get the win.’ That’s all he cared about,” Lawton said.

Two hours later, Lawton was stepping to the foul line with 13 seconds left in regulation needing to hit both to prolong the game. Ward provided indirect encouragement this time.

“I just tried to block everything out and make the free throws,” said Lawton, who made 7 of 8. “And I had (point guard) Aaron Calixte in the back of my head, like, ‘Just make them for C.J.’ So I did.”

Wagner (2-4) made 10 of 19 3-pointers and got 25 points from Marcus Burton. Lawton fouled him on a 3-point attempt and he made all three free throws to give the Seahawks an 81-78 lead with 1:06 left in overtime.

Calixte drove for a layup to cut it to 81-80. The freshman finished with 10 points and nine assists.

Greg Senat of Wagner missed a free throw to give Maine its final chance. Valjarevic needed two chances. His first shot, a runner in the lane, was off target with four seconds left but the ball went out of bounds off Wagner.

“I knew this one’s going in,” Valjarevic said of his subsequent shot. “I like the pressure. I like the challenge. Guys on my team trust me. It means a lot to me.”

Then it was off to the table, where he pulled at the front of his jersey while his teammates tugged at him from below. It was a madcap scene.

“We’re going to have to work on our postgame celebration when we win close ones,” Walsh deadpanned. “We’re not there yet.”