BANGOR — Garet Beal had the basketball four feet beyond the 3-point arc on the left wing Wednesday and took a long look at the hoop.

The Longwood defenders weren’t going to challenge him that far from the basket, so the Maine forward let it fly and rattled it home. That shot gave the Black Bears only an early one-point lead but it proved much more significant.

Beal, a junior from Beals Island, made five more from long range as part of a Maine barrage that resulted in a 92-82 victory before an announced crowd of 2,631 at Cross Insurance Center.

Beal finished with a career-high 23 points and the Black Bears (1-3) held on to win their home opener – also their first win of the season.

“I felt pretty good going into the game,” he said. “We just moved the ball so well and I was able to get into kind of a rhythm.”

The Black Bears finished 16 of 33 from behind the arc, with seven players making at least one. It was the most successful 3s in one game for Maine since 2000.

And it was just enough, thanks to a late surge by the Lancers (2-4) that cut an 18-point lead to seven on two occasions.

“We won that game by making shots. And that’s fine and it looks good and it’s fun, but man, we’ve got to be tough enough when those shots aren’t going in to dig in and get stops,” Maine Coach Bob Walsh said. “And I thought late in the game, we were really struggling one-on-one defensively.”

The Black Bears led 38-32 at halftime despite an ugly stat line of eight assists against 13 turnovers. Making seven 3-pointers helped. So did the 14 points from freshman Issac Vann.

Vann didn’t score in the second half, exiting early with a right ankle injury. But the biggest key for Maine was the 15 assists against only five turnovers after intermission. Point guard Aaron Calixte led the way with seven assists.

“Just being ball strong with taking care of the ball. I think some guys tend to put their head down and drive to the basket,” Calixte said. “We just tried to move the ball, get it in the air and then just make plays off of that. Doing that just made the game so much easier.”

Calixte made a big basket with 1:40 left after Longwood cut the Maine lead to 84-77. The sophomore drove the lane, reversed course and scooped in a layup. It was a shot that Walsh joked “usually gets punched off the wall in practice.”

“We’ve been working on that a lot, keeping my guy on my hip and making plays, and that’s what I did there,” said Calixte, who finished with 14 points.

Kevin Little added 10 points for Maine before leaving late with an ankle injury. Walsh said he expects Vann and Little to be fine by Friday’s practice.

The Black Bears made 8-of-10 free throws in the final five minutes to hold on. The team had made only 6 of 13 before that.

“To win that way I think was important because we had to face a little adversity,” Walsh said. “It’s not that easy to go through. You’d love to keep it at 20 and just win going away, but I think after you go through it you realize, that’s what we needed. We needed to be challenged.”

Maine senior guard Shaun Lawton dressed for the first time this season after serving a suspension for violating team rules. He did not play because Walsh said he had only recently returned to practice and wasn’t familiar yet with the plays.

Maine next plays Sunday at Central Connecticut State.