Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod believes the Hawks have nobody to blame but themselves for Friday night's 91-90 overtime loss to Adelaide.
The Hawks blew an eight-point lead in the final 40 seconds of regulation and never really regained the momentum in the extra five-minute period.
Several spectators vented their frustration at the three referees moments after full-time, but McLeod wouldn't have a bar of it.
"The disappointing thing for me is that a lot of people blame other people. We're blaming ourselves," he said.
"The easy thing to do is say 'someone else did this, someone else did that' . . . if we want to be a better team and win, we have to make better plays and finish off down the stretch, both offensively and defensively.
"The other thing that really annoys me is people saying 'you're playing the team that's last'. That's irrelevant in our league. The six teams from third to eighth are all capable of beating any one of those other teams, and if they play really well they're even capable of beating the top teams.
"We had plenty of opportunities throughout the night to finish off and make plays."
Wollongong fans were high-fiving when guard Adris Deleon's free throw made it 80-72 late in the game.
But the Hawks didn't guard the three-point line closely enough in the closing stages, allowing Adam Gibson and Anthony Petrie to get off open shots to force overtime.
The Sixers were just hoping to set up a potential game-winning shot in the dying stages of the extra period and couldn't believe their luck when Hawks guard Adris Deleon fouled Stephen Weigh with two seconds remaining.
Weigh, one of the league's best shooters, accepted Deleon's gift, hitting his first free throw to break the deadlock and intentionally missing his second shot to prevent the Hawks from using their final time-out.
"They made big shots, there's no question about that, but we weren't that smart," McLeod said.
"They had to get three scores [when the margin was eight]. To get them by twos you need four scores. To get them by threes, you need three. We broke down, and we probably needed to get that message across better.
"We made some big plays of our own, but we made some poor decisions. In the end it comes down to making big plays at the right time. They made big plays and we had a couple of errors down the stretch which cost us dearly. Hopefully we can learn from that."
The Hawks (10-14) are fifth with four games remaining and need at least three more wins to finish in the top four.
Wollongong are on the road against third-placed Melbourne on Saturday.
"We have to stop the bleeding quickly and move on," McLeod said.