Friday wasn't the way she wanted to end a remarkable career on the scoreboard, but St. Thomas senior center Kaitlin Langer closed out her college basketball career Saturday with an impressive award.
Langer was chosen as Division III Women's Basketball Player of the Year by D3hoops.com. With more than 400 teams competing nationally, that's no easy feat.
She led the Tommies to a record-setting 31-1 season and a trip to the national semifinals. Her 20 points and 20 rebounds were not enough in Friday's 60-57 loss to Tufts, the eventual NCAA runner-up. Langer helped the Tommies post a 15-3 postseason record over the last three seasons.
Langer converted 80 percent of her free throws and averaged 19.3 points and 8.8 rebounds, while scoring in double figures in all 32 games. She made 201 free throws and scored 617 points with 282 rebounds this winter.
Langer joins UST legend Laurie Trow Kelly as the lone St. Thomas basketball players named National Player of the Year.
- Led St. Thomas women's hoops to a 31-1 record this season and helped Tommies extend conference win streak to 34;
- Recorded 61 points and 19 rebounds in two wins over 25-3 Gustavus;
- Became just the third UST women's player to surpass 1,200 points, 600 rebounds and 100 blocks despite only starting two seasons;
- Repeat honoree as MIAC Player of the Year, West Region Player of the Year and All-America;
- Played her first semester at Winona State but transferred to St. Thomas in December 2013.
Started all 62 games the last two seasons, team 57-5; also was bench contributor to Tommies' 30-1 team in 2014-15;
Scored in double figures in 47 consecutive games;
Had 28 career double doubles (double-digit points and rebounds in same game), team 25-3 in those games;
In 12 career postseason starts averaged 20 points and 10 boards;
had a career-high 19 rebounds with 18 points and four blocks in March 11 playoff win over Whitman in quarterfinals, then surpassed that with her 20 rebound and 20 points against Tufts.
Made nine-day trip to Brazil in summer 2016 with the USA Basketball Division III Women's Basketball all-star squad;
Made steady and dramatic gains each of her four St. Thomas seasons:7.2 minutes a game, 2.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg as a freshman;
8.2 minutes, 3.6 ppg and 2.2 rpg as a sophomore;
28.9 minutes, 17.9 ppg and 9.1 rpg as a junior;
25.7 minutes, 19.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg this season.
A Stillwater, Minn., native and Hill-Murray High grad, Langer is a Real Estate Studies major and already has received her real estate license in Minnesota. She's affiliated with a ReMax office in the south suburbs in Rosemount.