Illawarra produced their best half of basketball this season but it wasn't enough against Perth on Friday night, with fourth-quarter explosion from Bryce Cotton ensuring the Hawks horrific record in the west continues.
The Hawks led by nine at quarter-time and by two at the half, keeping Cotton to single digits through three quarters before the MVP favourite dropped 13 points in the final term to sink the visitors resistance.
He finished 3-10 from long range but all three triples came in the fourth quarter to take the game away from the visitors. He ultimately finished with 22 points and five assists in a victory that pushed the Hawks out of the top four for the first time this season.
The game saw a continuation of the shooting yips for Brian Goorjian's side who went four of 24 from three-point range. It included a run of 17 straight misses in a return of just 16 per cent from long range.
Justinian Jessup had nine of his 15 points in the first quarter, while Cam Bairstow and Tyler Harvey both finished with 13 points, the latter at 1-8 from beyond the arc.
He didn't lead the scoring, but Justin Simon was the Hawks best, doing a job on Cotton for three of four quarters and finishing with six offensive boards to go with seven points.
John Mooney had yet another double-double for the Cats with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Clint Steindl had a telling 17 points while most of the momentum was with the Hawks.
It extends the Hawks run of outs in the west to 34 losses in 35 outings before a merciful return to Wollongong for just their second game of the season at the WEC against Brisbane on Monday.
Jessup shot out of the gates with nine of his side's first 11 points, including his first triple, with Harvey also chiming in from deep for a 14-6 lead that forced Gleeson into a timeout.
It saw Cotton take a rare early seat with just two points. Froling had six for the term as he Hawks kept a healthy double-digit margin.
Steindl had an important seven from the bench to keep the visitors in touch, with Mooney finishing a neat final set at the rim to cut the margin to nine at quarter-time.
The hosts went 8-2 out of the break, with Cotton getting going with a three-point play, but it was Corey Shervill who proved the spark plug with all of his eight points coming in the second quarter.
Five points to Bairstow saw the lead hovering in double figures before the Cats closed the term with a 7-0 run to make it a two-point ball game at halftime.
Simon had the first three out of the resumption, but it was Steindl who really got going with seven for the term as the hosts took a two-point lead at the final stop.
That's where the Cats exploded, with a 11-0 run to start fourth, seven to Cotton who punctuated the run with his first triple of the night. He followed up with two more to put the game to bed.