Charles Minlend, seen here in Novemberof 2016, scored a team-high 16 points in his first game back after missing an entire season. (Jacob C. Palmer)

USF men’s hoops continues plowing through non-con schedule

WAR MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM — Alcorn State traveled from Lorman, Miss., to play the University of San Francisco men’s basketball team on Wednesday. On the court, though, the Braves didn’t get far.

The visitors never held a lead and only got within 10 points a couple times as the Dons improved to 5-1 with a 78-65 win.

Freshman forward Charles Minlend scored a team-high 14 points — including 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc. Ronnie Boyce, the leading scorer in the WCC entering the game, added 13 and Chase Foster chipped in another 12.

“The way we play and the way we’re designed to play is that we should be pretty balanced,” head coach Kyle Smith said after the game.

USF outclassed Alcorn State for most of the contest, racing out to an early lead by making its first six shots. The Dons finished the first half shooting 59 percent from the field. The Dons have hit more than half of their shots for four-straight games.

“We’re so young, I think we should get better,” Smith said. “It’s hard to get better than 51 percent but I think we have good scorers and we get guys open in this offense.”

The Braves tightened the score toward the end of the first half by capitalizing on a streak of Dons turnovers. But the home team was able to take control of the game after halftime and its lead didn’t drop beneath 10 from there on out.

USF is out to its best start to a season since 2012-13.

The Dons return to action on Friday when they will play host to Lamar, who opened the season with a win at Oregon State but lost to Idaho State on Tuesday.

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