Illawarra has copped a massive reality check on the road with a second-quarter capitulation putting the Hawks in a 26-point hole at halftime en route to a 103-73 pasting at the hands of Tasmania on Thursday.
Looking to make it two wins on the bounce for the first time under coach Jacob Jackomas, the Hawks seemingly never got off the plane, trailing by as much as 13 in the opening term before the wheels came off in the second.
Having fought back to within three 48 seconds before quarter-time, the JackJumpers exploded with a 31-10 second quarter to take the game out of the visitors reach with 20 full minutes still to play.
Jackomas' side coughed up 11 turnovers and shot just 31 per cent from the field, including a dismal 2-13 from long-range. The overall tallies were slightly more flattering but the visitors were simply never in the game.
Milton Doyle continued his impressive start to the season with 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Jordon Crawford had 17 points and six assists in just 23 minutes on the floor. Jack McVeigh had a handy 15 at 6-11, while Majok Deng had 14 at 4-6 and Marcus Lee had 10 points and eight boards.
The import duo were the only Hawks in double figures, with Tyler Harvey's nine points coming at a lowly 2-8 from the field, and Sam Froling's eight coming at 4-11. Jackomas didn't mince words in the aftermath, saying the JackJumpers "kicked our arse today."
"I take the fact that we've got to be better, enough's enough. It's three games in, we're averaging 100 points [against us], it's not good enough. We put a decent performance together last week, then come into an environment that's going to challenge us and we don't do enough to be in it.
"We're always backpedaling and trying to do something and guys are looking at the bench, it's just not good enough. If we keep going like this, this league's too good, the same results are going to happen so I get the fact that we're going to have to change. They're adults, I've always given them the truth that way.
"Some of it they would know and there has to be a change within the group. We do a lot of work, a lot of video but there's nothing video-wise that will help us that way. There's no change in strategy or anything like that, it's just the will of us right now."
It continued a horror road run for the foundation club, who've now lost 15 of their last 16 games away from Wollongong heading into Saturday's away trip to Adelaide to take on the 0-4 36ers, and sucked all the joy out of a breakthrough last-start win over the Phoenix last Saturday.
"I'm the coach and I've got to find a way to get through to these guys now," Jackomas said.
"You bury that one we make adjustments. The one thing with [the group] is they'll handle it well. I've got to find a way to a pick them up quickly and go into an environment where both teams are desperate. There's nothing to like lose your mind over, we're three games in.
"Every game's big and this one's a little bit bigger in a different way. We always seem to figure it out, we played badly against Sydney and came back against South East. We had a week to work it out, now we've got a day and we're on the road .
"We've got a lot of lessons to learn and I'm more than confident after that one that we'll bounce back."
The hosts exploded to start, with Anthony Drmic and Doyle draining back to back threes to punctuate a 13-3 start after Robinson picked up two fouls in the opening two minutes.
Another triple to Crawford saw the lead balloon to 13 before Robinson fired back with his first three. He added another three from the line as part of a 10-0 run from the visitors that pulled the margin back to just three with 48 seconds left in the term.
Crawford went 2-2 from the line for a five-point quarter-time cushion, with margin quickly shooting back out to double digits on an open three from Clint Steindl less than a minute into the second.
The home skipper fired another from deep on the other side of a timeout from Jackomas, with Crawford getting in on the long-range act with the margin swelling to 21. Things got uglier on consecutive triples to Sean Macdonald and Doyle that saw the visitors trailing by a whopping 26 at the main break
A halftime rev-up from Jackomas had no effect, with Crawford and Drmic knocking down open threes to start the third and take a 32-point lead. The Hawks never dented it from there, trailing by 27 at three-quarter-time. It was junk time from there.
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