AZUSA, Calif. – In just three years of playing against NCAA Division II opponents, the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team has already formed one of its most exciting rivalries in recent memory with Cal Poly Pomona..

In 2012, Azusa Pacific defeated the Broncos with a game-winning bucket in the final seconds for a one-point victory, and last year, Cal Poly Pomona made a last-minute shot to force overtime and eventually get the victory.

The trend continued Saturday night as the Cougars knocked off the second-ranked Broncos 85-81 in double overtime.

In the final two minutes of the second overtime period, junior guard Mariam Zabinsky made a go-ahead lay-up and then had an offensive rebound that allowed Azusa Pacific to run out the clock as part of a 30-point performance.

Azusa Pacific took an early 80-76 lead in the second overtime with consecutive lay-ups from Cydnie Jones and Zabinsky. A Tyler Woods jumper later tied the game at 81 with 1:59 left in the period. On the Cougars’ ensuing possession, Zabinsky got her own rebound off a missed three-pointer and laid it in to take the lead back. After Zabinsky’s offensive rebound late in the period, junior guard Kelly Hardeman drew a foul and hit both free throws with eight seconds left to put the game out of reach for Cal Poly Pomona.

Hardeman finished the game with 20 points just a night after having a career-high 29 points against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Zabinsky shot 9-for-13 from the field, including 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, which was just two treys away from the Cougar single-game record for three-point field goals made.

“It was a gutty performance to battle with a team that is bigger and stronger, and yet not back down and not give up,” head coach T.J. Hardeman said. “We had numerous times that we were down and we continued to battle. We had individuals that stepped up and said ‘I’m not letting us lose.’ It was a great team effort.”

In the first overtime, Zabinsky and Hardeman each nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 74-74. After Cal Poly Pomona’s Ariel Marsh hit a pair of free throws, Hardeman fired another three pointer for a victory, but missed. However, Lisha Elsenbach got the offensive board and drew a foul. At the charity stripe, Elsenbach made both free throws to extend the game to another overtime period.

Elsenbach finished the game with 12 points to go along with eight rebounds in her first start with Azusa Pacific. Four of the Cougars starters finished the game with at least eight rebounds and Zabinsky wasn’t far behind with six. Center Maggie Dumphy recorded nine rebounds and three blocks, playing all but one minute of the game.

Cal Poly Pomona’s Jada Blackwell had a game-high 36 points and 11 rebounds. However, Azusa Pacific held her to just four points in the two overtime periods.

“Even though they were big, we really stressed working on what we are doing,” Hardeman said. “We are so young, so we want to focus on doing what we do to the best of our ability and then we adjust to our opponent on the fly. I thought the girls did a great job tonight of working hard together.”

Azusa Pacific led by double digits with six minutes left in the game, but the Broncos went on an 18-5 run, concluded by a three-pointer by Marsh to take a 66-63 lead. The Cougars had the final possession of regulation, and they turned to Zabinsky. With five seconds left, Jones dished one of her game-high eight assists to Zabinsky, who drilled the trey to send the game to overtime.

Hardeman’s starting five showed its endurance in the win with each averaging 44.6 of a possible 50 minutes played, despite having foul trouble all night with a combined 19 fouls amongst the five.

The win over the 2013-14 NCAA Division II Championship semifinalists pushes Azusa Pacific’s record to 2-0 this year. The Cougars will remain at home playing another CCAA team on Tuesday in Cal State L.A. Azusa Pacific has now won three of its last four meetings with CCAA teams.