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After Perfect Night, Crystal Langhorne On Pace For Historically Efficient Season

Perfect games are starting to become routine for Seattle Storm forward Crystal Langhorne.

One year after setting the franchise record for field goals in a game without a miss, Langhorne topped herself with another historic night on Saturday against the Dream. The veteran finished with 20 points on 9-for-9 shooting to help Seattle earn a much-needed victory over Atlanta at KeyArena.

The previous Storm record was Langhorne’s 8-for-8 performance in May of 2016 against Connecticut. Strangely, she nailed her only three-point attempt of the entire 2016 season that game, and the exact same scenario unfolded Saturday night in Seattle. Langhorne hadn’t taken a shot from beyond the arc yet this year, but with the shot clock winding down in the second quarter, she was forced to heave.

Nothing but net.

While Langhorne’s 9-for-9 outing may seem like an aberration, it’s truly just the latest act by one of the most efficient players the WNBA has ever seen. After shooting a career-high 63 percent from the field last year, Langhorne is now up to a league-best 67.3 percent this season, slightly ahead of MVP candidate Sylvia Fowles (66.3 percent).

If she maintains her current pace, it would be the best shooting percentage in league history. Tamika Raymond holds the current record – 66.8 percent in 2003 – which reigning MVP Nneka Ogwumike came close to breaking last year.

Langhorne boasts a career average of 57 percent from the field, second to only Fowles (59 percent) among the league’s all-time best. The former All-Star has ranked top five in the WNBA every year since joining the Storm in 2014.

Averaging 12.8 points and six rebounds this year, Langhorne is the unsung hero on a Seattle squad full of household names. She led the Storm in scoring for two straight years before the arrival of Breanna Stewart. Now taking a back seat, Langhorne has Seattle (9-10) eyeing a playoff berth for the second straight year.

In their quest for the postseason, the ultra-efficient Langhorne is as important a piece as any.