Alabama overcome a sparkling 38-point effort by Jeff Lamp to defeat Virginia, 71-69, tonight in the champoionship game of the Sugar Bowl basketball tournament.
Virginia, defending champion and a 38-point winner over Providence in the semifinals Thursday night, was counterfeit on offense in the final -- except for lamp, who was virtually unstoppable. He was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Bradley defeated Providence, 84-52, for third place.
Virginia fell behind Alabama by 10 points early and played catch-up the rest of the game.
The Cavaliers tied the score at 31 with 2:33 left in the first half, but Alabama scored the period's final six points -- four by freshman Eddie Phillips -- to take a 37-31 lead at intermission.
Virginia came back again to tie at 47 after seven straight points gby Lamp and went ahead, 48-47, on a Steve Castellan free throw with 11:55 to play.
The lead see-saed until Alabama scored four straight on baskets by guards Eeie Adams and Robert Scott.
Two long jumpers by the freshman Adams, the second with 7:38 to play, gave the Tide a 57-51 lead. Alabama returned it the rest of the way.
The margin of victory was two free throws by Phillips with nine seconds left.
Jeff Jones scored Virginia's final points on an uncontested layup after Phillips' free throws.
Besides Lamp, the only Cavalier in double figures was Mike Owens with 13 points.
Lee Raker, who had 29 points in the semifinal trouncing of Providence, scored two points tonight. He made only one of eight shots.
Alabama's usually balanced scoring was led by Regie King, who had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Three others -- Phillips, Adams and Scott -- also scored in double figures.
The victory was Alabama's fourth straight and improved its recored to 6-2, Virginia fell to 5-3.
Despite the defeat, it was Lamb's night. He made 14 of 23 shots and 10 of 11 free throws on the way to his career high. He also had six rebounds and three assists.
Alabama tried defensing him with guards, then forwards and finally with King before going to a zone.
Fatigue more than anything else wore down Lamp, who played 39 minutes.
Most of his points came off 15-foot jumpers after breaking outside off double screens.