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Jordan Sullivan, Utah advance; Karsen Murphy, Chattanooga bow out of women's NCAA tournament

NCAA WBB: Utah Utes vs. Northwest Nazarene
Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 17, 2023

The first round of the women's NCAA tournament got underway on Friday, and a pair of Montanans got to taste March Madness.

Sidney native Jordan Sullivan, an assistant coach at the University of Utah, is moving on to the second round of the tournament after the No. 2 Utes defeated No. 15 Gardner-Webb 103-77. Alissa Pili led the way for Utah with 33 points, eight assists and eight rebounds while Jenna Johnson added 20 points and five assists and Gianna Kneepkens added 17 points and nine boards.

Utah shot at a 58.7% clip from the field and held Gardner-Webb to 40.1% shooting.

The win continues a year to remember for Sullivan in her first year on the Utah coaching staff. The former Montana Lady Griz player and assistant coach saw the Utes improve to 26-4 on the year, and they will next take on No. 10 Princeton on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Another former Lady Griz player saw her season come to a close on Friday in the tournament.

Glendive native Karsen Murphy, a sophomore for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs, played 16 minutes as the No. 16 Mocs fell to No. 1 Virginia Tech 58-33 in the opening round of the tournament.

Murphy went 2 for 4 in the game with both of her makes coming from deep as she finished with six points, two rebounds and one block in the game.

Murphy completes her second year at Chattanooga after playing one season for the Lady Griz.

Former Lady Griz and Malta native Sophia Stiles will get her first crack at March Madness on Saturday. Stiles and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast University will take on No. 5 Washington State at 12:30 p.m. in the first round.