Costly fouls from the Breakers saw their Tassie tenure to a disappointing end on Monday night, falling to the Hawks 75-67 at the Silverdome.
Hawks one-man army Tyler Harvey looked unstoppable on offence with 29 points and seven steals.
"Every loss is tough, we're disappointed every time we lose," Breakers coach Dan Shamir said.
"In the first half, we struggled with Tyler Harvey - the guy is the first target and he got us."
"We really struggled offensively with both turnovers and shot-making in the second half."
Harvey sank a three seconds into the match, but Breakers talent Tai Webster answered right back with one of his own.
After an impressive return to form from an Achilles injury against the Perth Wildcats on Saturday, 25-year-old Webster tallied 14 points against the Hawks.
New Zealand held an early lead thanks to missed Illawarra shots.
But six lead changes throughout the first quarter kept things tense for players and fans alike.
The Breakers were without key scorer Levi Randolph (injured hamstring), and it showed with the Breakers struggling to find consist scoring throughout the game.
Tai Webster's teammate and brother Corey Webster (10 points) managed to get going, scoring seven points in the first including a flying alley-oop from Will McDowell-White.
There was plenty of physicality from both teams in the second, with needless fouls from New Zealand keeping the Hawks in the contest.
The Breakers did themselves no favours at the line either, only finding the rim on 50 per cent of their free throw attempts in the half.
An agile Harvey proved tough to handle for the Breakers defence, able to use the big body of teammate AJ Ogilvy to create huge holes and good looks.
After a sluggish start to the quarter in scoring, the Breakers were able to keep the heat on thanks to the Webster brothers.
But Harvey out-ran every Breaker on the court all night, beating captain Tom Abercrombie (14 pts) to the rim the tie the game at halftime.
"That's our guy, that's our scorer, that's who we're playing off offensively," Hawks coach Brian Goorjian said.
Entering the second half leading the Hawks in turnovers (7-6) and fouls (9-6), the Breakers needed to tighten up on defence to keep a lid on the visitors.
They did just that, limiting fouls, turnovers and forcing the Hawks into ugly looks.
After being noticeably absent from the first half, Breakers guard Finn Delany (7pts, 9 reb) finally scored his first points of the game early in the third.
However, some controversial calls against New Zealand gave the Hawks hope late in the quarter, before Abercrombie dropped a hammer of a dunk to rally his side.
Entering the final term with a one-point lead built mostly on free throws, the Hawks looked to take advantage of a frustrated Breakers team to build on their lead.
An exhausted New Zealand offensive struggled to score off good opportunities, and while the Hawks weren't doing any better, they drew enough fouls to build a 13-point lead with only a few minutes left.
Shamir said fatigue might have played a factor in the Breakers' exhaustion, having played five games in 10 days.
While the Breakers found their stride and closed the gap, the Hawks were able to run down the clock to bringing the former's Launceston stay to a bitter end.
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