By Teddy Allen, Designated Writer

Two days after the Dunkin’ Dogs lost in overtime to Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional Finals in Dallas in mid-March, 1985, Northeast Louisiana hosted Louisiana Tech in the Midwest Regional Final of the women’s tournament on a Sunday afternoon in Monroe.

It was the final game for Sonja Hogg, who built the program from scratch in 1974 and would end up in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame along with her co-head coach during this 1985 game, Naismith Hall of Famer Leon Barmore. Of course he’d go on to become the head coach and win a title in ’88 and retire with the greatest winning percentage in the history of the game.

Barmore has often mentioned the three greatest point guards he ever saw, and all three are in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. One played for Hogg and him: Kim Mukley. One played for him alone, Teresa Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon was on the court on this afternoon against Northeast, and a freshman, but Barmore’s third pick was on the floor too: NLU’s Eun Jung Lee, a junior on her way to becoming a four-time Player of the Year in the Southland Conference.

Lee had 18 points and 11 assists against the Techsters; Lisa Ingram and Chanda Perry were the big stars: they combined for 54 points to lead NLU to a 85-76 victory and to a spot in the Final Four. Many of those points came off assists from Lee.

Ten games into the 1985-86 season, her sophomore year, Perry was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because it had found Northeast in violations of six regulations in its handling of Perry. She never played again for the Lady Indians.

Here is the Teddy game story from the News-Star-World the morning after that historic afternoon in Ewing Coliseum, now Fant-Ewing Coliseum.



With three seconds left in the NCAA women’s Midwest Regional championship game, the tartan surface of Ewing Coliseum turned into a dance floor. Northeast Louisiana School of Juke and Jam. Phi Slamma Tango.

The Lady Indians got happy feet.

Lisa Ingram has already proven her All-America basketball ability, but now it was time for some other moves besides jumpers and rebounds. Ingram got Saturday Night Fever, or Sunday Afternoon Fever, or Final Four Flu. What Ingram did would have made John Travolta blush and take a seat. The floor belonged to NLU, and this number was Ladies Choice.

As Louisiana Tech point guard Teresa Witherspoon fouled NLU playmaker Eun Jung Lee, Ingram forgot about the final three seconds. It was already 83-76, Lady Indians, and would end, 85-76, after Lee’s free throws. But it was over.

Really, it had been over since the 2:20 mark when Tech trailed, 74-69, and had the ball thanks to a steal by Tech’s Pam Gant out of Tech’s press and a chance to cut it to three. But the Lady Techsters turned it over as center Tori Harrison lost it on the baseline and NLU’s Chana Perry went down to hit her last turnaround jumper of the night.

Ingram held her smile at that time, but now she couldn’t wait. With :03 left and Lee coming to the line, they were playing her song.

First it was a breakdown move, then the arms went up, then a couple of spins. Ingram was moving like a jellyfish in a disco jacket in Studio 54. And the smile she wore told you she was having the time of her young life.

Actually, Ingram had shown some solid gold moves all night long. Teamed with Perry, the two danced, and danced, and danced…

One is 6-4, the other 6-3, and both have talent to burn. Ingram has been named to several All-America teams in her career while Perry was one of the nation’s most highly recruited players last season. But their off-the-court struggles this year have been as large as anything they’ve faced in uniform.

For Ingram, it was her mother’s death in mid-season. For Perry, the troubles have involved recruiting and lawsuits.

But happy days are here again, and now, it’s time to dance.

Both were named to the Midwest Regional tournament team, and Perry was MVP. Ingram gets the trophy for MVD (Most Valuable Dancer).

What they did to Tech was gun the Lady Techsters out of what would have been a record seventh Final Four appearance. It wasn’t easy moves, like waltzes or the two-step or layups or free throws, although the two were a combined 10 of 11 from the line. Instead, they did it the hard way.

Ingram nailed 9 of 20 field goal tries, but we’re not talking layups. On six of those shots, she was outside the paint. One was from Pam Gant range.

“I haven’t shot that well the whole season,” Ingram said. “I just put it up.”

“We know Lisa can shoot from way out there,” NLU coach Linda Harper said, “but we like our rebounding strength under the basket. We like our inside players to stay inside; why not try to make the basket, get a better shot, get fouled, and get three points instead of two?”

That’s how it usually works. But Tech was in front of everything, so the Indians turned around and shot over anything in the way. And Harper said OK.

“When you’re hot,” she smiled, “you’re hot.”

Perry was hot as the shoes Gene Kelly wore in “Singing in the Rain.” Her Converses should be bronzed and put in somebody’s Hall of Fame, which is where she’s headed if all this keeps up. Perry was 13 of 20 from the field and ended with 31 points, her second highest total in college.

“The coaches told me not to pass it back out,” Perry said, “but to turn and shoot. The last time I got to do that was in high school They were giving me the shot; I just took it.”

Four of the shots were layups; two were offensive rebounds. The others were turnarounds on the baseline and in the lane, hard shots.

“Chana Perry never even came close to looking like a freshman,” Harper said. “She looked like what a senior is supposed to look like.”

She looked like what an MVP is supposed to look like.

“There were just so many shots by Ingram and Perry,” Tech co-head coach Leon Barmore said. “If she (Perry) gets any better…”

Barmore shook his head.

“I think (playing Northeast) one time every four years from now on is enough,” Barmore smiled, “until Perry leaves.”

But Perry, a freshman, is back next year, along with Ingram, who will be a senior. Now, both are on their way to Austin, smiles and happy feet packed and ready.

“I know it’s going to be exciting,” Perry said. “And I know we’ll be ready to play.”

Perry, by the way, didn’t do anything special to get ready for Sunday’s game. She and Chrissa Hailey took a recruit to the show and she got to sleep early.

“Just a regular day,” Perry said.