Elation and disappointment
Notre Dame celebrates as things get rowdy at Purdue
Updated: Monday April 02, 2001 1:45 AM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame fans sang and leaped with joy over the women's national basketball title, while police in West Lafayette used tear gas to break up unruly Purdue students.
On the Purdue campus, state police used tear gas to break up crowds of students who set fire to trash bins and threw rocks and launched bottle rockets at officers, a state police spokeswoman told WRTV in Indianapolis.
"It's just trying to put one fire out after another," Sgt. Shana Kennedy said.
No injuries were reported, and Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said five people had been arrested.
The largest group of students numbered about 1,000, she said.
Norberg said there about 200 police officers from local, county and state agencies on the scene.
Last year during the men's NCAA tournament, police fired tear gas into a crowd of students after the rowdy fans overturned dumpsters and started small bonfires following Purdue's loss to Wisconsin in the West Regional final.
When Purdue's Katie Douglas missed the potential game-tying shot in Sunday night's game in St. Louis, Irish fans began screaming, jumping up on chairs, high-fiving and hugging.
One student with an Irish flag began waving it and singing the fight song to celebrate the 68-66 victory.
The cheering continued for more than a minute. It didn't subside until students saw University president Rev. Edward A. Malloy hug coach Muffet McGraw. Soon the whole crowd was singing the Notre Dame anthem.
"This is great. This is awesome," said Mark Jarotkiewicz, an engineering freshman from Chicago who was wearing a "Beat Purdue" T-shirt he had made for the regular-season game. "It was great having everybody together like this."
More than 200 people packed a large room at the Notre Dame student union to watch the game on two big-screen TVs. A similar-sized crowd watched in a room upstairs.
When Alicia Ratay hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 62, the stomping of feet could be heard on the first floor. And when All-American center Ruth Riley hit a free throw with 5.8 seconds left, the crowd roared and chanted, "The Ruth, The Ruth, The Ruth is on fire."
There were whoops and cheers after the game, but the celebration was peaceful.
The quiet was too much for one Irish student who yelled out, "We won! Where is everybody?"
It was the first celebration of a national championship in a high-profile sport for Notre Dame since the football team went undefeated in 1988 under Lou Holtz. The 12-year drought is the second longest ever for the Irish, but no one was thinking football on Sunday.
Notre Dame was transformed into a basketball school this season -- a women's basketball school.
A crowd of fans was expected to greet the team bus in front of Notre Dame's famed Golden Dome as a celebration was planned for the wee hours Monday morning as the Irish returned from St. Louis.
"It's just amazing they can do it for the program and for themselves," said Jim Madden, and engineering sophomore from New Bedford, Mass. "They showed they deserved a national championship."