Purdue students light fires, throw rocks at police

Monday, April 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) _ Disappointed Purdue fans lit at least 40 fires around the campus after the Boilermakers lost their bid for a second NCAA women's basketball championship.

Indiana State Police used tear gas to break up crowds of hundreds of students who overturned cars and threw rocks at officers late Sunday after the Notre Dame team beat Purdue 68-66.

Eight people were arrested, Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said. About 200 police from local, county and state agencies took part in quelling the disturbance.

As midnight came and passed, police herded the crowds from place to place on the Purdue campus and dispersed them. The largest group numbered about 1,000, according to police and university officials.

No injuries were reported.

Fifteen people were arrested following similar disturbances last March, when Purdue's men's team lost in the NCAA West Regional final. A melee on campus following the women's team's championship in 1999 resulted in four arrests.

The crowd was far happier in South Bend, where hundreds of fans were on hand at 2:30 a.m. Monday to welcome home the Notre Dame women.

``It's awesome,'' said Ruth Riley, the game's most valuable player.

The Irish women gathered in a circle and did a jig as the band played, a team custom before big bames, and one Irish player dove into the crowd mosh-pit style.