Crystal Langhorne (Maryland) scored all 16 of her points in the second half and had nine rebounds as the Washington Mystics rallied to upend the defending WNBA champion Indiana Fever, 64-60, on Sunday afternoon.
It was Washington's third straight win and marked the second time the team has started a season with wins in four of its first five games. Washington went a league-worst 5-29 last season.
Indiana (1-5) pulled ahead by four when it closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run. But forwards Michelle Snow and Langhorne ensured the Fever suffered its fifth straight defeat, combining for 14 of Washington's final 18 points.
"We introduced Crystal to her teammates at halftime, let [them] know she's been on the team and maybe we should throw her the ball," coach Mike Thibault joked.
Snow gave the Mystics the lead on a putback with 1:47 remaining. After a lay-in by Indiana star Tamika Catchings (16 points), Snow responded with a short baseline jumper on a feed from rookie Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. Catchings again tied the score at 58 with 36.7 seconds left on a putback, but Langhorne refused to let Washington crumble. She corralled an air ball by guard Ivory Latta on the next possession and got fouled with 23.9 seconds remaining. She calmly stroked two free throws and Snow (six points, five rebounds and three blocks) altered a shot by Indiana's Rakima Christmas, a 2011 Mystics draft pick, on the defensive end to provide Washington a cushion it wouldn't relinquish.
"We right on time," point guard Ivory Latta (team-high 17 points) said of whether the team has overachieved. "Hey, there's a lot of people out there that doubted us, but ya'll can just ... hush. Don't say nothing else."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun