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Cougars Extend Biola Series

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Photo by Joe Reinsch
Azusa Pacific and Biola have agreed to a two-year home-and-away series in men's and women's basketball, extending what is arguably Southern California's best basketball rivalry for at least two more years.

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Published
September 18, 2012
By
Joe Reinsch

AZUSA, Calif. -- Biola University and Azusa Pacific University are set to continue what has been dubbed the best small-college rivalry in the state of California as non-conference foes, setting up a plan for a home and away series over the next two years.

The two former Golden State Athletic Conference rivals meet this season at Biola's Chase Gymnasium with the women's teams playing on Monday, December 3, and the men's teams doing battle on Friday, December 7. Both games are at 7:30 p.m. The teams meet again during the 2013-14 season in a doubleheader at Azusa Pacific's Felix Event Center on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

The two former Golden State Athletic Conference rivals met twice each season for the last 19 years since the Eagles joined the conference in 1993-94. However, Azusa Pacific recently moved from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, joining the Pacific West Conference along with former GSAC members California Baptist University, Fresno Pacific University and Point Loma Nazarene University.

“We wanted to continue playing Biola simply because it’s such a great experience for both campuses,” Cougar head coach Justin Leslie said. “Even though we’re excited to develop new rivalries in the PacWest, we’re also glad we were able to keep such a unique rivalry going, and we look forward to bringing Biola back here next year.”

Over the past 19 years, Biola and Azusa Pacific have been two of the top programs in the most competitive league in the NAIA. On the men's side, the teams have met 100 times in the storied rivalry with Azusa Pacific holding a slight 53-47 all-time series lead. The Cougar women have a larger advantage all-time, leading 42-35.

"We are excited to continue the rivalry with Azusa Pacific University," said Biola Head Coach Dave Holmquist. "It has been the biggest non-Division I rivalry in California for many years. Even though we no longer play in the same conference, the significance of the game won't change."

Tickets for the two games at Biola will go on sale on Monday, October 15 and cost $6 for adults, $4 for senior (55+), teens (12-17) and visiting students. Biola students and children under the age of 12 are free. Biola fans can purchase their tickets at the Biola bookstore or through the Biola ticketing website http://athletics.biola.edu/tickets. Tickets for Azusa Pacific fans can be purchased through Azusa Pacific’s Felix Event Center Ticket Office at (626) (626) 815-5494.