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No. 18 Gators roll after slow start to hammer undermatched UMKC

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Despite a sloppy first half, Florida (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) discovered it has a strong bench while routing Missouri-Kansas City 86-65 on Sunday.

Center Alex Tyus led the way with 25 points, but the Gators' bench contributed 38 points on 16-of-24 shooting. Sophomore Chandler Parsons added 17 points and freshman point guard Erving Walker added 13 points, nine assists and five steals in 28 minutes to help carry the Gators (5-1) at the Florida Hospital Gator Jam.

"We're going to have some growing pains, but I really like what our young guys bring to this team," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "They're very coachable and winning is important to them."

Parsons, mired in a shooting slump, shot 7-of-9 from the field. The forward was 1-for-13 from 3-point range this season, but hit all three of his attempts Sunday.

Dane Brumagin led UMKC (3-5) with 16 points and Reggie Hamilton added 10.

Florida led 40-32 at halftime, but struggled early. The Gators had 10 turnovers in the half and allowed UMKC to shoot 54 percent from the field.

Brumagin had 14 points in the half, including a 3-pointer that put the Kangaroos ahead 32-29 with 4:50 left in the half. That, however, would be the last points of the half for UMKC. The Kangaroos committed five turnovers and missed four shots in the last five minutes.

Dan Werner started the Florida rally with a pair of baskets, the Gators hit 5-of-6 free throws and Nick Calathes ended the run with a driving layup just before the halftime buzzer.

Florida's defense picked up in the second half and the Gators quickly pushed the lead to double digits. A dunk by Tyus at the end of a fastbreak made it 54-39 with 15:30 left and the Kangaroos couldn't get closer than 11.

Tyus shot 10-of-13 from the field, including seven dunks. He pulled down eight rebounds and had two blocks. But the other Florida starters combined for only 23 points (8-for-24) and committed 12 of the team's 21 turnovers.

"We probably could have scored 100 points, but not with 21 turnovers," Donovan said. "And it seemed like every time we turned it over, they ended up with a layup at the other end."

UMKC was 3-for-8 from the free-throw line and shot 42 percent from the field for the game.

"We wanted to win, but I think our kids found out they can compete," said UMKC coach Matt Brown, a former assistant to Donovan at Marshall and Florida. "We hung with the 17th-ranked team in the country, but we're not very big. And when you combine that with not shooting well in the second half, that's the difference."