Sophomore Andi Lydon finessed in a jumpshot over a Bryant defender in the lane on Saturday with 6.5 seconds remaining to secure a Central Connecticut women's basketball, 53-52 victory. Watch it here. CCSU out-muscled the Northeast Conference's top rebounding team, 41-38, and held Bryant's leading scorer, Alex Klein, to a mere nine points in the win.
Lydon finished with a game high 23 points, and senior Chayla Lewis contributed a season high eight points and career best seven rebounds in her second start this year. The Blue Devils shot 33.8% from the field, including 12 points off of Bryants 13 turnovers.
The Blue Devils improve to (8-12) on the year, and finish (7-2) through the first cycle of conference opponents. Bryant falls to (9-11) overall, and (4-5) in the NEC.
Bryant jumped out to a 10-3 run to begin Saturday's action, including eight high percentage shots in the paint, forcing CCSU to call early timeout to regroup. Lewis layed in a basket at the 7:12 mark, which sparked a 6-0 Blue Devil run to cut the Bulldog lead down to one point, 10-9.
The Northeast Conference's three-point field goal percentage leader Lydon, tied up the score at 12-all, on a triple with 2:41 left in the quarter. Bryant led by two, 16-14 through 10 minutes of play.
Central went through a 5:45 scoring drought to begin the second quarter, while the Bulldogs ran off on an 8-0 run. Lydon put an end to the Blue Devils offensive struggles after netting her second three, and converting a jumper in the lane with 2:18 to go, making the score 26-19.
Bryant's Morgan Olander tallied 10 points in the first half, helping the Bulldogs shoot 42.9% from the floor. Lydon collected 10 points of her own on 4-of-8 shooting, and CCSU trailed 21-30 at the break.
The sharp-shooting Lydon continued her success on the offensive end, giving the Blue Devils six straight points that ignited CCSU in the third. Central fed off of the momentum to take its first lead of the game, 34-32, off of a 5-0 run from rookie Ashley Chin with 5:16 left in the quarter.
Senior Aleah Epps dished out five assists in the third, including a textbook back-door pass to Lydon for two at 4:17. Central's engery player, freshman Taylor Goode, came off the bench to slice her way through a couple of Bulldog defenders for a lay in, and find Lydon in transition for her 21st points of the game.
The Bulldogs were out-scored 11-24 in the quarter, and trailed by four, 41-45, heading into the final 10 minutes of NEC action.
Both teams had difficulty finding the back of the net to start the fourth, featuring a series of missed shots and turnovers. Epps found her first points on a timely three-ball at 4:41 that put Bryant behind, 50-43.
The Bulldogs pulled themselves to within one point with 1:40 left, thanks to a 5-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. Bryant's Kierra Palmer gave her team the lead, 52-51, after connecting on two free throws with 18.0 seconds to go.
The last chance for Central Connecticut fell into the hands of Lydon, who connected on jumper in the paint with 6.5 seconds left, that proved to be all CCSU needed to pass by Bryant. Olander led the Bulldogs with 13 points and nine boards.
The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will begin the conference cycle all over again with a Monday night date with LIU Brooklyn at home at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Devils go tthe best of the Blackbirds back on January, 16 at LIU, 76-71.