BANGOR — For 39 seconds Wednesday night, the Maine men’s basketball team got to feel what it was like to play with a lead.

New Hampshire quickly slapped the Black Bears back to reality, scoring the next 11 points and holding on for a 63-58 win before an announced crowd of 1,106 at the Cross Insurance Center.

“I think we just got too comfortable,” Maine freshman Kevin Little said. “We’ve just got to keep the mentality that we’re down the whole game and we’ll just play harder.”

The Black Bears (2-19, 1-7 America East) were down from the outset as New Hampshire raced to a 19-3 lead. The Black Bears had six missed shots and six turnovers to start the game.

But they chipped away and trailed just 23-20 at halftime, thanks to eight points and eight rebounds by center Till Gloger.

In the second half, Gloger contributed nothing. But the Black Bears, using a five-guard lineup, were able to keep the Wildcats off balance. A Little jump shot with 12:32 gave Maine a 34-33 lead that was gone in the blink of an eye. New Hampshire pounded the ball inside to freshman Tanner Leissner, who scored eight points to help his team reclaim a 44-34 lead.

Maine, meanwhile, missed nine consecutive shots in that stretch.

“I feel like we lost focus. I feel like once we got the lead, our intensity level went down,” Maine guard Shaun Lawton said.

Trailing 51-39 with 3:56 left, the Black Bears summoned one last burst of intensity. Little scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the final four minutes, driving relentlessly to the basket. One of his layups brought Maine within 58-56 with 23 seconds remaining. Lawton, who scored 12 points, airballed an open 3-pointer that would have made it 59-59 with 11 seconds left, and New Hampshire sealed it at the foul line.

“I just short-armed it,” Lawton said. “But it goes back to the beginning of the game. We didn’t play defense the way we’re capable of.”

New Hampshire was 6-24 last year and lost twice to Maine. Coach Bill Herrion, whose team has won four straight now, wasn’t going to quibble with how it managed to escape.

“From where we were last year, we’re not going to sit here and totally analyze this thing,” he said. “(Maine) did a great job of extending the game.”

The Wildcats concentrated on stopping Maine guard Zarko Valjarevic, limiting him to five shot attempts and two points in 36 minutes.

They were led by 14 points from Jaleen Smith. Leissner scored his 11 in the second half to go with a game-high 12 rebounds. New Hampshire outrebounded Maine 47-34 and racked up 30 points in the paint.

Maine Coach Bob Walsh felt his team never overcame its terrible start.

“We were trying to catch up to their level of toughness the entire game,” he said. “There was no segment of the game where I thought our defense was up to par.”

The Black Bears were coming off a 70-61 win at Hartford on Sunday, snapping a 13-game losing streak. Any momentum evaporated in the first six minutes when New Hampshire built a 9-0 lead.

“We just waited too long to start playing to our full ability,” Little said.