The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES Ä The most talked-about player wasn't at the game, and at first, seventh-ranked UCLA staggered without him against Southern Cal.
Tyus Edney, the Bruins' starting point guard and floor leader, missed the first game of his four-year career Thursday night because of the flu.
His replacement, Cameron Dollar, was off his game in the first half and the Bruins followed suit before salvaging a 73-69 victory with a late rally.
''I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but I got the job done,'' said Dollar, who had no assists and three fouls in the first half, then finished with nine points and five assists.
''I was trying to get Ed (O'Bannon) and George (Zidek) their shots. In the first half, they weren't getting easy enough shots to get rolling,'' Dollar said.
UCLA (13-2, 7-2 Pac-10) trailed most of the game against its crosstown rival and didn't take the lead for good until Ed O'Bannon's basket with 5:39 remaining.
''We were out of sync offensively the whole game because our quarterback wasn't there,'' Bruins coach Jim Harrick said.
Several of the Bruins saw Edney looking miserable on Wednesday, but few figured he'd miss the game.
''It all came down to three things: how good would he play, would he infect anyone else, and would he have a relapse,'' Harrick said. ''I couldn't take that chance.''
So the Bruins played raggedly without Edney, but got help from USC's 36 percent shooting and only trailed by four at halftime.
''Everything was going our way,'' USC guard Stais Boseman said. ''We were clicking. There is no way we should have ever lost that game.''
Southern Cal (7-12, 2-7) dropped its fifth straight Pac-10 game despite 22 points by Lorenzo Orr and a career-high 21 by Boseman.
Former Southern Cal coach George Raveling watched his old team at the Sports Arena for the first time since retiring earlier in the season because of injuries from a car crash.
UCLA was held to one basket in the opening eight minutes and Dollar failed to distribute the ball while getting in foul trouble.
But the Bruins rallied around the inspired shooting of Charles O'Bannon, who scored eight of his 16 points in the decisive second-half run that put the game away. He played a career-high 37 minutes and older brother Ed scored 16 points in playing a full 40 minutes for the first time in his career.
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