One final ride: Mary Kate Evans plays last home game for Mustangs

SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m., Mary Kate Evans will be lacing up her sneakers to take the floor under the lights at Mott Gym for a final time. It is senior night for the Cal Poly women’s basketball team and the final chapter for the former Greyhound standout.

After redshirting her first season in 2013-14, she has played in nearly every Mustang basketball game since her sophomore year. She personifies everything that student-athlete aims to be. Academically, Evans is second to none. Last season she earned Cal Poly’s overall Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and was named to the Big West Conference All-Academic team for a third consecutive season.  

On the court, Evans is a model teammate who has continued to work on her game and has seen her contributions to the team grow with each year she played. All her hard work and dedication to her craft paid off this week when she recorded her career high in points (15) after draining five three-pointers in a tough loss to California State Northridge.

In the moment I didn't really think about it because all I knew I needed to do was shoot.” Evans said of her career high, “I wish it was enough to win the game but it was still cool.”

On Wednesday night, the Mustangs recorded a huge, last-second win over their hated rival the UCSB Gauchos. It was a tremendous game that showcased the Mustangs’ perseverance. UCSB was up early on Poly, but every time the Gauchos would make a run, the Mustangs would answer right back and cut the lead to a single point.

The lead changed 12 times during the course of the game and was tied eight times.
The Mustangs largest lead of the game was only five and it came with 1:30 to go in the final quarter. The Mustangs edged out the Gauchos and took sole control of third place in the Big West Conference.

One game after recording her career high and Evans did not record a statistic in the game but was still all smiles as she celebrated with her teammates.  

“It was really fun and really up and down,” Evans said. “We were nervous, and then we were excited, and it was just really fun cheering on everybody and seeing them be successful.”

Cal Poly is now 15-11 on the season and will face Cal State Fullerton at home at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The seniors on the team will be honored at center court which has Evans ready for an emotional day.

“It is going to be a really special night,” she said. “My brother is going to be there and both of my parents. My mom will probably cry, so that means that I will probably cry. It has been a long journey and it is going to be a lot of emotions all flooding in on one night, but it is just a chance to really show how thankful I am for this opportunity.”

Evans is currently averaging 4.7 points per a game and almost three rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent from behind the arc.

When asked how she would summarize her time as a Mustang and what it has meant to her, she responded, “If I had to choose one word, it would be ‘grateful’ because it has been an unbelievable experience and it has let me grow so much as player and as a person. Meeting so many different teammates and coaches and forming different relationships, it has just been something I will never forget and something that I will be forever grateful for.”


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