by Daniel Fappiano
The Central Connecticut State University women’s basketball team is in the midst of a disappointing 2-15 season. However, as the Blue Devils look to climb their way into the Northeast Conference playoffs, junior Andi Lydon continues to shine.
The junior forward is one of just two players, along with Kiana Patterson, to start all 17 games and average more than 30 minutes per contest for CCSU. The 6’0” forward continues to be a leader for this Blue Devils team—a role she thinks will only help the team improve.
“It’s something that I embrace. I like being a leader, especially being a junior and upperclassman now. I think I’ve embraced the role and I’m just doing whatever I can to help the team win,” Lydon said.
Outside of her leadership capabilities, Lydon is one of the best rebounders and scorers on the team. She averages 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, good for second and first on the team, respectively. Lydon’s totals put her as the 17th best scorer and the 14th best rebounder in the NEC.
Lydon’s ability to score is pretty unique, but the way she executes the offense is what makes her special. Most of Lydon’s baskets come in the paint after backing down her defender. However, she has range from deep and the ability to shoot the three-ball. She is currently third on the team with 1.2 made threes per game.
Her versatility is something she attributes her success to.
“It’s definitely something that I focus on. Just being versatile, being able to do a little bit of everything. That way it not only helps my team, but makes me harder to guard, being able to shoot the three and play in the post, just to keep the defenders on their toes and doing a little bit of both,” Lydon said.
Lydon’s versatility has not gone unnoticed. Head Coach Beryl Piper thinks that when Lydon plays with confidence, she could be the spark this Blue Devils team needs.
“She’s definitely a tough match-up because she can play inside-out. If Andi gets the ball in the post and she plays with confidence and she plays strong in the post and then she shoots the three, I mean, that’s a really hard match-up for anybody,” Piper said. “So, it’s a matter of her and her mindset of being tougher when she’s down there and having confidence in herself because she can score, so she has to play confident. It helps us. We need her to play well.”
If the Blue Devils want to finish as one of the top eight teams in the NEC and reach the conference tournament, Lydon’s play will be crucial. On a team where three freshmen are averaging more than 14 minutes per game, her leadership will be key.
On the court, not many can claim to have the skill set that Lydon does. Being able to lead the team in rebounding yet stretch the floor and hit the three ball is no easy task. She is the team’s most versatile player and the key to the offense.
The Blue Devils may be down, but they aren’t out. With 12 games left in the season, Central still has a chance of reaching the conference tournament. Lydon will be right in the middle of that quest as the multi-talented two-way star continues to make a name for herself in her third year at CCSU.