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Langhorne Named WNBA's Most Improved Player

Courtesy of The Washington Mystics | 9/20/2009, 9:24 a.m.

Washington Mystics forward/center Crystal Langhorne has been named the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today. Langhorne received 19 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Atlanta Dream forward Sancho Lyttle finished second with six votes and Dream center Erika de Souza and Seattle Storm guard Tanisha Wright tied for third with four votes apiece.
In her second season, Langhorne improved her scoring by over seven points a game from 4.8 ppg to 12.0 ppg while upping her rebounding average from 4.0 to 7.9. Langhorne posted higher numbers than a year ago in nearly every statistical category. She tied for third among WNBA leaders in rebounds and ranked second in offensive rebounding average (3.0 rpg) and totals (101). She worked her way into the starting lineup by the middle of the season and nearly doubled her playing time (29.8 minutes per game) from a year ago (15.6 mpg).

Selected with the sixth pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft, Langhorne was the third leading scorer on Washington this season after placing sixth on the team in 2008. She led Washington in rebounding this season after ranking third on the team for the full 2008 season. She also posted nine double-doubles this season, which tied for third among WNBA leaders.

Against Chicago on Sept. 4, she totaled a career-high 23 points on seven field goals and seven free throws. She made 10 field goals and pulled in 11 defensive rebounds and 16 total rebounds against Connecticut on Aug. 14 to set career highs in those categories as well.

She helped Washington to its first WNBA Playoffs appearance since 2006 by leading the Mystics in rebounding 20 times and scoring six times. Langhorne scored in double figures 24 times, including two 20-or-more-point performances, and collected double figures in rebounds on 11 occasions.

A native of Willingboro , N.J. , Langhorne played her college basketball at Maryland where she was a three-time Associated Press All-America selection and the 2008 ACC Player of the Year. She led Maryland to the NCAA Championship in 2006.mAs the WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Langhorne will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.