Liberty forward Gabby Doxtator didn’t score a single point in the Patriots’ second game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday.
The 5-foot-11-inch senior did just about everything else, however, to complement teammate Taylor Turney’s game-high 32 points in the Patriots’ 69-43 win over Desert Hills (Utah) at Bishop Gorman.
Doxtator finished with 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots and sparked Liberty’s 7-0 run to start the second half. That run turned out to be a precursor to what would be a dominant second half for the Patriots (11-0).
“She’s just a great basketball player,” Liberty coach Chad Kapanui said. “Her IQ level is so high. Those are stats that people will understand helps us win games. You go for 13 rebounds, that’s huge.”
Liberty dominated early, but only led by 28-25 at the half after squandering an 11-point first-half lead.
Doxtator, along with Turney, made sure it wouldn’t remain a close game after halftime. In the first two minutes of the second half, Doxtator had two steals, two assists and a rebound to help the Patriots grab a 35-25 lead and the momentum for the rest of the game.
Turney, a San Jose State commit, did the heavy lifting on offense by scoring 16 second-half points and finishing 12-for-24 from the field, including 2-for-6 on 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds and four steals.
“She’s one of those players that are special and can score 20 to 30 points a game,” Kapanui said. “She can really take over games. She gets to the line. She finds a way to get to the line and that’s why she’s a Division I player.”
Desert Hills’ Ashley Beckstrand, who finished with 25 points, six rebounds and three steals, scored the Thunder’s first six points of the second half and ended the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws.
But it wasn’t enough for the active Patriots, who forced 20 turnovers in the game, including 12 in the second half.
“We talked at halftime about adjusting,” Kapanui said. “We had to adjust our defense to (Beckstrand). I called them out and they responded well. Overall, as a team, the defense played well in the second half.”
Liberty also won the rebounding margin, 44-19.
“I preach every day crashing the boards and boxing out,” Kapanui said. “There’s not too many teams that do that. I know I have to focus on that with this team because we’re small. If we can get rebounds, it’ll be hard to beat us.”
London Pavlica added nine points for Liberty, and teammate Nancy Caballero had six points and nine boards.
Kylie Williams had eight points for Desert Hills.
Liberty 58, Castle View (Colo.) 40 — Turney scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the first half to lead the Patriots by the Sabercats.
Celine Quintino and Kaily Kaimikaua each added seven points for Liberty, which led 31-18 at halftime.
Shaina Smidt led Castle View with 15 points.
Desert Hills 61 (Utah), Valley 47 — Beckstrand led three double-figure scorers with 18 points to power the Thunder past the Vikings.
Williams had 13 points, and Jessica Bills scored 10 for Desert Hills, which shot 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) from the free-throw line.
Hannah Gebreyesus scored 14 points for Valley. Teammates Jeuzel Pollins and Sandra Scroggins each added nine points for the Vikings.
Bishop Gorman 55, Skyline (Utah) 38 — Megan Jacobs scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half as the Gaels closed the game on a 26-10 run and beat the Eagles.
Madison Washington added 14 points for Gorman, which led 23-20 at halftime and 29-28 with 10 minutes to go.
Cameron Mooney had 10 points for Skyline.
Castle View (Colo.) 51, Arbor View 46 — Smidt scored 18 points, including 12 in the first half, to help the Sabercats down the Aggies.
Megan Sutherland had nine points for Castle View, which outscored Arbor View 21-16 in the second half.
Katrina Nordstrom had 13 points, and Caroline Rivera-Cervantes scored nine for Arbor View.