Kent State Around The Beat: Evans refuses to use injury as an excuse for KSU's loss

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Wondering why Kent State men's basketball star senior forward Chris Evans repeatedly refused to admit he's injured following his team's MAC Tournament Semifinal loss to Akron and its CollegeInsider.com First-Round victory over Fairfield?

Obviously Evans doesn't want to use injury as an excuse for his poor play, even though his body language and numbers have let it be known loud and clear that the ankle injury he sustained in the Golden Flashes' regular-season ending victory at Akron has seriously bothered him.

But I believe a statement Evans made following that win over the Zips has something to do with his denial as well.

Evans and his fellow Flashes were bombarded with talk of Akron's defeat being more about the sudden loss of point guard Alex Abreu, whose felony drug arrest the day before the game has been well-chronicled to say the least, than anything Kent State did. Here's what Evans had to say about it:

"No disrespect to Akron, but when you suit up you're supposed to be ready. If we would have lost I don't think we would have made any excuses, we would have accepted it for what it was."

Just a hunch on my part, but something tells me Evans' refusal to admit he's injured is his way of backing up that statement.

If so, Evans deserves some credit for not trying to switch gears or duck his own words. If it's just a coincidence, Evans still gained respect from this writer for not taking the easy way out by using an excuse - even a legimate one that no one would have questioned.

You just don't see that happen much in this day and age.

GYMNASTICS

Kent State senior gymnast Rachel Guida and junior gymnast Marie Case were named to the 2013 All-Mid-American Conference First Team.

Guida earned three MAC Specialist of the Week honors during the regular season, claiming top honors on the uneven bars in all but one meet. She is ranked first in the MAC, second regionally and 18th nationally on bars. Guida competed on vault and bars every meet during the regular season and recorded a score of 9.8 or higher in 17 of 20 routines.

Case, who earned MAC Gymnast of the year honors for the second straight season at Saturday's MAC Championships, was named MAC Gymnast of the Week three straight weeks from Jan. 30-Feb.13. She recorded 22 scores of 9.800 or higher during the regular season and won four of five all-around competitions, including a personal best 39.450 Feb. 2 at Bowling Green.

MEN'S GOLF

Kent State junior Taylor Pendrith was named MAC Co-Men's Golfer of the Week after capturing his first career individual title on March 12 with a 1-under 215 (71-75-69) at the General Hackler Championships, held at the TPC of Myrtle Beach.

Pendrith was fifth heading into the final round, but shot a 3-under 69 on the final day to earn the top spot. His performance helped the No. 22 Golden Flashes claim the tournament championship with a 9-over 873.

Pendrith averaged 72.90 strokes per 18 holes after 20 rounds of play this season.

BASEBALL

Junior Taylor Williams and sophomore Sawyer Polen were awarded MAC East Division Pitcher and Player of the Week honors, respectively, for the week of March 4-10.

Williams tossed a complete game on March 10, throwing 110 pitches and allowing just one run to earn the win at Charlotte. He allowed eight hits and one walk while striking out three.

Polen hit .462 on the weekend, with six hits, three runs, a double and two RBI. He also had one sacrifice and stole two bases. Polen was a big part of both of Kent State's wins, grabbing two hits on Saturday and three on Sunday. Defensively he started at both third base and shortstop during the three-game series and did not commit an error while registering three putouts and nine assists.

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