Clemson falls to Gonzaga, faces UTEP in losers’ bracket

Clemson gave No. 16/17 Gonzaga all it could handle for most of 40 minutes on Thursday in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic, but the Zags shot 69 percent in the second half to pull away to a 57-49 victory over the Tigers.

Gonzaga improved to 4-0 with the win, and advance to play Oklahoma in the winners’ bracket.

The Tigers lost their first game of the season and now move on to take on UTEP for a second straight season in an exempt tournament. The game will be held at 5:30 PM Friday and will be televised by ESPNU. UTEP beat the Tigers 61-48 in Hawaii last Christmas.

Clemson held Gonzaga to just 57 total points, 37 below its average coming into the game. The Tigers struggled offensively, shooting just 31 percent for the contest. The Tigers were only 27 percent from three-point range, a 6-for-22 clip. Gonzaga ended up shooting 49 percent after struggling to find the basket in the opening half. The Zags committed 13 turnovers, compared to Clemson’s eight. The Tigers have won the turnover margin all three games this season.

Freshman guard Adonis Filer scored 10 points and was 4-for-12 from the field. He was Clemson’s only player in double figures. Jordan Roper and K.J. McDaniels both added eight points. Clemson seniors Devin Booker and Milton Jennings combined for just 11 points, but Jennings had eight rebounds and five assists in a solid effort.

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