GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Chandler Parsons broke out of a scoring slump with 18 points, Erving Walker added 14 and Florida beat Rhode Island 84-59 Monday night.
The Gators (11-3) capped their nonconference schedule with a third straight win, including consecutive games against Atlantic-10 teams. Florida won at Xavier on Friday.Kenny Boynton and Alex Tyus chipped in 10 points apiece for Florida, which used a 22-2 run in the first half to turn a close game into a lopsided affair.The Gators opened up a 21-point advantage with 4:18 remaining before the break. Rhode Island (9-5) sliced into the lead on Will Martell's back-to-back buckets and Delroy James' 3-pointer. But Parsons answered with a 3 on the other end, then really helped the Gators pull away in the second half.James led the Rams with 23 points. Martell added 13 points and seven rebounds.Florida scored at least 80 points for the first time since beating North Carolina A&T 105-55 on Nov. 18. Parsons had something to do with the offensive outburst.Parsons had reached double-digit points just once in his last nine games, a 13-point effort against American in early December. He had gone five games without topping nine points. He really had struggled from behind the arc, missing 12 of his last 14 shots.He had few problems Monday.The senior made a layup on a nifty, full-court pass from Walker early in the second half, slammed home Boynton's missed 3-pointer and then added a breakaway dunk. He finished 3 for 4 from 3-point range and added 10 rebounds and five assists, easily his most well-rounded game of the season.His timing couldn't have been better, either. The Gators open Southeastern Conference play Saturday against Mississippi, and they need Parsons at his usually versatile self, especially because of some injuries.Forward Erik Murphy missed Monday's game after injuring a foot in practice and center Patric Young started in place of Vernon Macklin (shoulder). Macklin had six points and three rebounds.The Gators shot 47 percent from the field (31 of 66), made 8 of 18 shots from 3-point range and finished with 19 assists on 31 baskets.The Rams shot 37.5 percent (24 of 64) and were downright awful from long range. They missed their first 10 3-pointers and finished 4 of 23 from behind the arc.