BANGOR — The University of Maine men’s basketball team has finished its Midwest tour, and not a moment too soon.

All the Black Bears have to show for trips to Indiana, Michigan and Illinois are lost games and lost sleep.

Now they finally get to play in their home arena, hosting Wagner at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

What will fans notice when they step inside the Cross Insurance Center?

“I hope they see that hunger and passion in us,” said sophomore forward Marko Pirovic.

“I do feel like I am that type of player. I bring that fire and that energy to practice and to games. And that just comes from my heart. That’s what we need. We need to get everything out of every guy.”

The Black Bears are 0-5 under first-year coach Bob Walsh. They are surrendering 84 points per game, which ranks 339th out of 345 Division I teams. Opponents are making 55 percent of their shots, putting Maine ahead of only Mississippi Valley State and Coppin State in that category.

On Sunday, Maine blew a 21-point lead and fell at Northern Illinois, then didn’t get home until midnight.

But, if the statistics seem familiar to Black Bear fans who watched last year’s 6-23 debacle that ended with the firing of Coach Ted Woodward, Pirovic said the vibe surrounding the team is markedly different.

“I’m not too worried about the record as of now, because I feel like we’re getting better and coming together. We’re playing as a unit,” said Pirovic, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds against Northern Illinois. “Last year, I felt like we played more individually. The coaches have been putting in new systems that allow us to trust each other. We obviously take accountability for stopping our own guy, but we know we have our teammates behind us.”

For 30 minutes Sunday, Maine played its best basketball of the season. Northern Illinois shot only 31 percent from the field. But the Huskies ratcheted up the defensive pressure and the Black Bears wilted. Maine was outscored 28-2 in the final 10:43.

It was a harsh lesson for his team, Walsh said after a spirited Monday practice.

“You can’t let the hangover from (Sunday’s) game bring you down, but you also can’t just accept the fact that we weren’t composed or tough enough to win and not learn from it,” he said.

Wagner (2-3) is 338th in the nation, allowing opponents to hit 50.7 percent of their field goals. But the Seahawks will unleash a full-court press on Maine in search of turnovers. The Black Bears will have to handle that better than they did late at Northern Illinois.

That will put a burden on freshman point guard Aaron Calixte and backcourt mates Shaun Lawton, Troy Reid-Knight and Zarko Valjarevic. If they can break the press, open shots should be plentiful.

Freshman guard Kevin Little, who missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, is questionable for Tuesday, Walsh said.

But Walsh knows he can count on Pirovic, who is averaging 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds after playing sparingly as a freshman. The Canadian has impressed Walsh.

“He’s our best natural competitor, plays with toughness, has a relentless approach,” Walsh said. “He’s kind of playing with an edge that we need to adopt as a team.”

Pirovic broke a bone in his foot during the team’s first practice this fall. It didn’t heal until the games began.

He’s been making up for the lost time.

“I’d describe us as hungry. Each one of us wants to go out each game and fight for each other,” said Pirovic, an undersized power forward (6-foot-7, 205 pounds). “Everyone loves offense, but I feel like defense is where I get my team going. And rebounding. Sometimes, I’m not as strong or as big, but the fact that I’m going to outwork that guy is why I’m going to end up with that ball.”

FANS IN PORTLAND will get a chance to see the Black Bears play one of the top teams in America East next month. Walsh confirmed Monday that his team’s Jan. 7 game against Vermont will take place at the Portland Expo.

Tipoff will be at 7 p.m.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER Liz Wood was recognized for her efforts in a weekend sweep of Brown and Boston College. The junior forward was a co-winner of America East Player of the Week honors. She scored 41 points, had 14 rebounds and eight assists to help the Black Bears win their Thanksgiving Tournament for the first time since 2006. It was her basket that forced overtime Sunday against Boston College, as Maine went on to knock off an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent for the first time since 2007 (Miami).

ANNABELLE HAMILTON ALSO was honored Monday, being named a Division I field hockey all-American for the second straight season. The senior from North Vancouver, British Columbia, finished her Black Bear career with 107 points while starting every game for four years.