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Still teaming up on the court

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Sports,Scott Gleeson

Ex-Terps Langhorne, Coleman close as ever

Former Maryland standouts Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman don't let the former Duke players on the Mystics bother them much.

After all, they have ultimate bragging rights.

"Whenever they try to talk about how great Duke is, all Crystal and I have to do is tell them that we have the championship that they don't have," Coleman said of the Terrapins' 2006 NCAA women's basketball title win over the Blue Devils. "There's not much arguing they can do."

Nowadays, Langhorne and Coleman are less concerned with the Maryland-Duke rivalry and more focused on turning around the struggling Mystics. Washington (3-14) owns the league's second-worst record and has struggled to close out games, losing its last three by a combined 12 points.

"We've been in every single game," said Langhorne, who was named to her second WNBA All-Star Game this year. "We need to figure out a way to close out."

Coleman echoed her teammate's thoughts.

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Liberty at Mystics
When » Saturday 7 p.m.
Where » Verizon Center

"As a team, I think we're doing a lot of things well," she said. "We just need to find a way to get over the hump. If you look at our losses this year, we've had the game in the bag, we've been up or the game was tied. So it's not like we're getting blown out."

In their third and fourth years in the WNBA, respectively, Coleman (10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Langhorne (18.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) have served as a two-headed monster in the Mystics' frontcourt, reminiscent of the tandem's playing days in College Park.

It's nice staying in the same area where we went to school and being the local girls," Langhorne said. "We have a lot of the same fans. We still see Coach [Brenda Frese]. There's a lot of familiarity."

Langhorne and Coleman's chemistry on and off the court has aided in their success over the years.

"On the court, I know where [Crystal] likes the ball, and she knows where I like the ball," Coleman said. "Off the court, we have a great friendship that carries over. I've known Lang since my junior year of high school when she was a senior. After being successful at Maryland together, we're trying to do the same type of thing here."

sgleeson@washingtonexaminer.com

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