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 evironment like that."
Olynyk was in the starting lineup after missing the previous three games because of 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.
"A disappointing loss because of how hard we played," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "The guys did a really good job of getting the tempo we wanted. Gonzaga is a great team. Very talented, and they're very smart. They can play a lot of different ways."
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.
David Stockton had an end-to-end layup, while Kevin Pangos and Harris added in-close baskets as Gonzaga went ahead 47-39 with 6 1-2 minutes to play.
Harris' 3-point play two minutes later made it 50-41.
Stockton had a career-high seven assists, Harris pulled down nine rebounds.
Olynyk scored four points during a 6-0 run that saw Gonzaga go up 31-30 early in the second half. Olynyk had another basket and Guy
Landry Edi added a dunk as the Zags grabbed a 37-33 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Clemson took a 24-23 advantage at the half, which had eight lead changes and three ties.
Gonzaga had the final five points in the first half, including a buzz-beating tip-in by Olynyk.
Damarcus Harrison's 3-pointer gave Clemson a 24-18 lead two minutes before the break. The Tigers scored the first four points of the game and went up 8-5 on a Rod Hall basket.
Pangos' layup put Gonzaga ahead 11-10 with nine minutes left in the first half. The Zags missed 9 of their first 10 shots, and went 9 for 27 (33 percent) during the opening half.
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.
GEORGIA TECH 54, RICE 36
In Anaheim, Calif., Marcus Georges-Hunt had 11 points and nine rebounds to lead Georgia Tech (3-0) over Rice (1-3) in an opening-round game of the DirecTV Classic.
Georgia Tech opened the second half with a 13-3 run, including a 12-footer and a 3-pointer by Brandon Reed 32 seconds apart. Georges-Hunt, a freshman, capped the rally on a pair of free throws, giving the Yellow Jackets a 38-22 lead with 15:11 remaining.
Rice went 7:36 without a field goal during that stretch, which was sandwiched by 3-pointers from Owls reserve guard Austin Ramljak. The junior led the Owls with 18 points.
NO. 5 DUKE 89, MINNESOTA 71
In Paradise Island, Bahamas, Seth Curry scored 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and a career-high-matching 17 rebounds as Duke’s starters scored all but two of the Blue Devils’ points in a victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Sophomore point guard Quinn Cook had a career-high 17 points for the Blue Devils (4-0), who extended their regular-season tournament winning streak to 21 games, a run that stretches to the championship game of the 2006 CBE Classic.
Rodney Williams had 16 points for the Golden Gophers (4-1), who just couldn’t cut into the Blue Devils’ lead in the second half.
Ryan Kelly had 14 points for Duke and freshman Rasheed Sulaimon, the fifth starter, added 11. The only points scored by a non-starter were the two from Amile Jefferson.
NO. 13 MISSOURI 78, STANFORD 70
In Paradise Island, Bahamas, Laurence Bowers scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Missouri (4-0) beat Stanford (3-2) in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Bowers, who had 13 points in the second half, has scored more points after halftime in every game this season for the Tigers. He came in averaging 15.5 points per game, 14.0 in the second half.
Phil Pressey had 18 points and eight assists for Missouri.
Chasson Randle had 22 points for the Cardinal, who have lost two in a row after an eight-game winning streak.
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 78,
NO. 19 MEMPHIS 65
In Paradise Island, Bahamas, Treveon Graham scored 26 points and Rob Brandenberg added 15, including two late 3-pointers, and Virginia Commonwealth (3-1) beat Memphis (2-1) in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Rams used their frenetic style of play to take a 16-point lead in the first half only to see the Tigers pull to 63-61 with 4:05 to play. VCU then went on an 11-0 run with all the points scored by Graham and Brandenberg.
Earnest Ross had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers but he was 3 for 19 from the field and missed all five 3-point attempts.