Savannah State's Troyce Manassa, who finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assist, drove for a layup and a 71-70 lead with 26 seconds left. Hawkins answered with a layup and then made two free throws with two seconds left to seal the win to give first-year coach Dan McHale his first road win.
Jarelle Reischel made 17 of 18 free throws for 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead the Colonels (7-2).
Hawkins finished with 16 points and Nick Mayo chipped in 10.
Savannah State (4-5) was up 34-28 at the break but the Colonels charged back to take a 45-44 lead at the 12:26 mark. There were six ties and eight lead changes.