Hundreds of students poured out of residence halls and fraternity houses after the game and began taunting police on Stadium Avenue. One threw a firecracker. A sofa and trash in dumpsters were torched.
As an Indiana State Police helicopter hovered overhead, officers from state, county, university and local police agencies confronted more than 1,000 students at the height of the disturbances.
Police in riot gear exchanged blows with those who threw bottles and fired tear gas to break up small groups that milled around in a cat-and-mouse game with officers.
The largest group on the 37,000-student campus was outside Cary Quadrangle near Ross-Ade Stadium, where students rioted in 1999 after the women's team won the national championship.
One student was hospitalized with chest pains after inhaling tear gas.
"What we had is a small group of students that are causing trouble and the rest watching," said Jeanne Norberg, director of Purdue News Service. "This is not part of the Purdue tradition."
The situation worsened about 10:30 p.m. CDT Sunday when a group set fire to trees and kindled a bonfire. A university vehicle was vandalized and a private car turned on its side.
Norberg said damage on the campus was "substantial" from some 40 fires and vandalism that included breaking windows.
Police armed with shotguns protected firefighters, who doused more than 20 dumpster fires before the disturbances ended early Monday.
The women's basketball team was scheduled to arrive at Purdue University Airport Monday afternoon, and today's official public ceremony in Mackey Arena was still on.
"I am very disappointed that the conduct of some of our students did not match the tremendous maturity and character demonstrated by our women athletes," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. He called on students to show their "true colors" at the official ceremony.
Jischke said that the rioters were a small minority and that any students arrested would face disciplinary action. Possible charges include criminal recklessness, public intoxication, rioting, arson, resisting arrest and manufacturing an incendiary device.
In contrast, students at Notre Dame cheerfully welcomed their victorious women's champions without incident in South Bend about 1:30 a.m. Monday.
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