Wollongong lost its opening two games to start the 2013/14 season on the road to New Zealand and Adelaide, but returned to the WIN Entertainment Centre to celebrate the club's 1000th match in the NBL.
The Hawks are the only foundation club from 1979 left in the NBL and with one of the players from that inaugural team, Gordie McLeod, continuing his role as the long-term coach, there was a nostalgic feeling to the night in Wollongong.
Precious little separated the Hawks and Crocs all night long with the margin for either side never reaching double-figures.
Wollongong did manage to open up a seven-point advantage during the second period, but by half-time Townsville had managed to close that gap down to just three.
The Hawks continued to hold a narrow lead throughout most of the second half and by 30 seconds remaining in the contest had opened up the game's biggest lead of eight points, and managed to hold on in the end and record the four-point win.
While Townsville managed to dominate on the glass with 37 rebounds to Wollongong's 28, particularly 17 at the offensive end to the Hawks' five that led to 17 second chance points to nil, Wollongong had a decided edge in getting to the charity stripe.
The Hawks benefited from receiving 20 foul calls in their favour to just 12 for the Crocs, and the result was Wollongong scoring 19 points from three-throws to just five from the Crocodiles.
The result means that both Wollongong and Townsville sit on 1-2 records after the first three rounds of the season.
Wollongong got plenty out of its two imports Rotnei Clarke and Kevin Tiggs, and the output from those two compared to Townsville's two overseas players was a major difference in the final result.
Clarke was outstanding for Wollongong with 23 points and six assists even though he shot just 1-of-6 from three-point range, but he was terrific on the drive and getting to the basket.
Tiggs was a late arrival for the Hawks following previous import Durrell Summers walking out before the season started, and he was also a strong contributor against the Crocs with 20 points and five rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.
Tim Coenraad added 10 points for the Hawks with Oscar Forman scoring nine points, Larry Davidson eight and Rhys Martin seven.
Jacob Holmes led the way for the Crocodiles with 14 points and nine rebounds, including a huge six offensive boards.
Imports Brian Conklin and Josh Pace both scored in double-figures, but didn’t deliver for the Crocodiles when it mattered with Conklin finishing with 13 points and Pace 12 to go with eight boards and three assists.
Todd Blanchfield added 11 points for the Crocs, Steven Markovic 10 and Scott Kenny seven.
Round 3 of the NBL now concludes on Sunday with the Sydney Kings hosting the Perth Wildcats, and the Melbourne Tigers taking on the Adelaide 36ers at The Cage.