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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 09:30 p.m.
Kelly Olynyk returns to lineup and Zags beat Clemson
By MARK DIDTLER
The Associated Press
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk played a major role in his first game of the season.
Olynyk and Elias Harris each scored 13 points to help No. 17 Gonzaga beat Clemson 57-49 in a first-round game Thursday night at the Old Spice Classic.
"It was a very good win for us," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We haven't been in a grinder yet, and we need to experience that. We need to experience being successful in an environment like that."
Olynyk was in the starting lineup after missing the previous three games due to a violation of the student code of conduct. The redshirt junior, who had his first two shots blocked, also had three rebounds.
"It was a little different," Olynyk said about his initial two shots. "It was kind of like an awakening, but it was good for me. Just tried to pick it up from there."
Olynyk played 24 minutes.
"I was just out there trying to play," Olynyk said. "Trying to play my game. It was tough at first for me, just getting back into the swing of things."
Clemson got 10 points from Adonis Filer.
Milton Jennings had six points and eight rebounds.
Sam Dower had 11 points for Gonzaga (4-0), which will go against Oklahoma in Friday's semifinals. Clemson (2-1) will face Texas-El Paso in the loser's bracket.
Stockton had a career-high seven assists, Harris pulled down nine rebounds.
Clemson was 10 of 29 (34.5 percent) from the floor over the first 20 minutes. The Tigers also struggled during the second half, making just 8 of 29 shots.
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