Shipman, Boynton Lead Gators in Final Tune-up

The Florida Gators capped off their two-game exhibition season with a resounding 104-53 blowout of Webber International Monday night at the O'Connell Center behind another solid offensive performance from prep All-America Kenny Boynton and some outstanding play off the bench from returning players Chandler Parsons and Ray Shipman.

Boynton, who was 5-of-8 from 3-point range, led all scorers for the second straight outing, this time with 25 points, while Shipman had 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 21 minutes of action. Parsons, meanwhile, gave UF an instant boost on the defensive end after being inserted five minutes into the game with the Warriors holding a surprising 15-8 lead. He ended up playing an outstanding all-around game, just missing a double-double with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds in 18 minutes on the floor.

"Our guys made some strides tonight," Donovan said. "I think the intensity Webber brought was great, and it kind of put our guys back on their heels a little bit. But I thought defensively after the first five minutes we played pretty well, and we moved the ball pretty well on offense and were balanced in a lot of different areas."

Webber's surprising early lead vanished quickly after UF got in sync. A 3-pointer by Boynton started a run of 18 unanswered points by the Gators. Defensively, the Gators were stifling over that same span, forcing numerous turnovers, many of which led to easy baskets, while holding the Warriors scoreless for more than six minutes.

The Gators pulled away to a 54-23 halftime lead, then coasted to the win as all 12 players who dressed eventually played. In fact it was walk-on Kyle McClanahan who got the Gators to the century mark when he hit a pair of free throws with 1:25 remaining.

Starting point guard Erving Walker (12 points) and backup center Kenny Kadji (11 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) joined Boynton, Shipman and Parsons, giving the Gators five players in double digits.

Freshman forward Erik Murphy added six steals, eight points and four rebounds in 17 minutes on the floor, but also had four turnovers.

"I thought Ray played very well, and I thought Chandler was pretty balanced," Donovan said. "Chandler did a lot of good things. He rebounded the ball, knocked down a couple of threes, he drove it, he did a lot of positive things. I thought Ray gave us great energy and a great boost off the bench. He's in great shape this year, much more so than last year, and I think that helps a lot."

Shipman noted Donovan's assessment was right-on.

"I felt like I did my first high school game," Shipman said. "I was born with a lot of athletic ability, but I gained too much weight last year. I weighed like 225, and right now I weigh 205. That's 20 pounds, and it made a big difference. I feel like my legs are so much fresher and I can jump so much better. I think I'm in the greatest shape of my life right now."

The Gators again shot well, finishing the game hitting at a 53.7 percent clip (36-of-67), and were a solid 41.7 percent from beyond the arc, connecting on 10-of-24 treys. Defensively, UF held Webber International, which won its exhibition opener over Southeastern University, to 33.8 percent (23-of-68) from the field and outrebounded the smaller Warriors by a 49-31 margin.

Forward Halston Schaffer led Webber with 13 points.

Next up for the Gators is the season opener this Sunday at 4 p.m. against Stetson.

"What I've found out about this team, I'm not really sure," Donovan said. "We've got two exhibition wins behind us, and we start the season Sunday, so we'll see. I think we can still get a lot better."

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