USC point guard Larry Friend, who passed away Tuesday, was an integral part of two of the best victories I witnessed over crosstown rival UCLA in 1985.
The Trojans defeated the Bruins, 78-77, in double overtime at the Sports Arena on Feb. 1. The rematch on Feb. 28 was even better.
The two teams went four overtimes at Pauley Pavilion. The score was tied, 78-78, with 10 seconds left and UCLA guard Dave Immel missed two free throws. USC got the rebound and Friend drove past a UCLA defender in the backcourt and then found forward Charlie Simpson open for a layup with two seconds left.
USC won, 80-78. It was USC’s first sweep over UCLA since 1942 and USC students waved brooms around the court. I’m pretty sure UCLA moved USC students to the upper deck after that. It was a huge moment at the time and it’s probably hard to realize now how rare those sweeps really were for USC.
Friend was the quarterback of those victories, always looking for an open teammate and he provided some big thrills in his USC career.