BANGOR — Was it a strong defensive showing by Maine, or was New Jersey Institute of Technology just being timid on offense?

For 30 minutes Monday, it was an open question. The Black Bears held a seven-point lead in their men’s basketball game at the Cross Insurance Center and were positioned to snap an 11-game losing streak.

Then the Highlanders pushed the pace, the Black Bears yielded ground, and NJIT dominated the final 10 minutes to win 65-55.

After being held to 36 points through 30 minutes, the Highlanders put up 29 in the final barrage.

“We just can’t win if you’re going to give up points at that rate. They started driving the ball to the rim on us, and we weren’t tough enough,” Maine Coach Bob Walsh said, sounding a familiar refrain after his team fell to 1-17.

“I just thought they had an edge to the way they played in the last 10 minutes that we didn’t stand up to.”

Damon Lynn scored 27 points to lead NJIT (11-10), which also defeated Maine 90-86 in the second game of the season. The 5-foot-11 sophomore played all 40 minutes and wasn’t slowed by a succession of Black Bear defenders.

“He’s the key to our team, obviously. Everything revolves around him,” NJIT Coach Jim Engles said.

“I just told them, ‘We’ve got to start taking shots.'”

NJIT shot 30.8 percent in the first half and 48 percent in the second.

A Kevin Little 3-pointer gave Maine its largest lead at 43-36 with 9:56 remaining. Seconds later, Till Gloger made it 45-39 with a short jumper.

The Highlanders scored the next 12 points, at one point scoring on nine consecutive possessions.

“You try to pressure him, get over screens, contest every shot, and sometimes I didn’t contest every shot,” Maine freshman Aaron Calixte said of trying to stop Lynn. “He’s just one of the better players and he hit some shots.”

Maine was led by 12 points from Zarko Valjarevic. Little added 11 and Garet Beal finished with 10.

Walsh used essentially a five-guard lineup for long stretches to keep his best shooters and ball-handlers on the court and put some pressure on the NJIT defense. Valjarevic made three 3-pointers in one 90-second stretch with that small lineup on the floor.

Even so, Maine was able to hold its own on the glass; rebounds were even at 30 apiece.

But the Highlanders were tougher in the paint, where they enjoyed a 20-12 advantage.

“We’ve just got to stick together,” said Valjarevic, Maine’s lone senior, after a 12th straight setback, “and try to figure it out.”