Nothing summed up the Hawks' miserable night against Townsville more than Kevin Tiggs' ir-ball from the free throw line late in the game.
Wollongong's import tallied a team-high 17 points in Friday's 80-67 road loss, but it was never going to be the Hawks' night.
The last-placed Crocodiles were famished for victory after eight straight defeats.
They led at every change, hitting 10/24 three-point shots compared to Wollongong's 5/18 and out-rebounding the visitors 33-27.
"The hunger they had was a lot more evident than what we showed," Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.
"They did a really good job of disruption."
Wollongong (6-13) have lost four straight and all but faded from top four calculations. They are one win ahead of the Crocs on the ladder and host second-placed Adelaide this Sunday.
"I don't care about the points, just wins," Tiggs said.
"Our goal is to win. Ain't nobody care about how many points you have if you don't win."
Townsville guard Steve Markovic was the best player on the floor with 20 points and eight assists. He hit 7/9 field goals, including 3/4 threes.
Crocs coach Shawn Dennis was relieved to see his side follow the game plan to a tee.
"It's the first time in a while that we've followed our rules and we did a terrific job of chasing them off the three-point line, and you see the difference in our defence when we do that," Dennis said.
"When Wollongong tried to make runs, we were able to really hang in there and that's the mark of a team that's starting to understand what it takes to win.
"To see the players rewarded for their hard work and perseverance, that's the best part, and we can get better from here and challenge the better teams," he said.