PASSINGS: Larry Finch

Larry Finch, 60, who starred for Memphis State's basketball team when it lost to the Bill Walton-led UCLA Bruins in the 1973 NCAA championship game and went on to coach his alma mater, died Saturday at Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis, a university spokesman said.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Finch suffered a debilitating stroke in 2002.

Finch had a 220-130 coaching record from 1986 to 1997 and led the Tigers to the NCAA tournament six times. Memphis State is now called the University of Memphis.

He was born Feb. 16, 1951, in Memphis, where he attended Melrose High School.

Memphis State lost to UCLA, 87-66, in the 1973 NCAA championship game, with Walton leading UCLA with 44 points. Finch, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored 29 points.

He was drafted by the Lakers in 1973, but signed with the Memphis Tams of the American Basketball Assn. Finch played two seasons in the ABA.

— Los Angeles Times wire reports

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