The Buena Vista men battled back from a 15-point second half deficit to get within four, but Luther College (10-2, 4-0 IIAC) used a late surge on Saturday afternoon to knock of the Beavers, 73-61.
Michael Kaufmann and Wes Nordquist each turned in 14 points for BVU, while Jeff Janssen and Cole Darrow each followed with nine. Kaufmann connected on four of the team's seven three-point buckets in the contest, while Nordquist sank 6-of-8 at the free-throw line.
The Beavers, which shot below 40 percent in the first half, heated up for the field in the second, making 46 percent of their attempts, including 7-10 from beyond the arc.
Defensively, Nordquist hauled in a team-high nine rebounds, as Doug Bissen followed with five.
BVU grabbed a 9-4 lead in the early going before the Norse went on a 10-0 run to take a 14-9 lead eight minutes in. The game was tight most of the half with the Beavers trailing only 20-17 with under five minutes left. Luther then closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 29-19 halftime lead.
The game was back-and-forth for a good part of the second half as well. BVU got within seven less than three minutes into the period before the Norse went back up by double digits at 37-27 with a little more than 15 minutes to play and extended it to 15 (51-36) with just less than 10 minutes to go.
The Beavers started to claw their way back using an 8-0 run capped by a jumper and three-pointer by Kaufmann to get within 51-47 nearing the six minute mark. A pair of free-throws from Michael Elming kept the margin at four on the team's next trip down the floor, before Luther began to pull away, getting a long-range shot of its own to go back up 10 with just more than three minutes to play.
Janssen nailed a three-pointer with Kaufmann hitting two more, but the Beavers couldn't get any close than seven the rest of the way with Luther, which made 18-of-21 free-throws in the game, converting 11-of-13 over the final minute and a half.
Dane Larson led all scorers with 22 points for Luther.
Buena Vista is now 6-7 overall (2-2 IIAC) and will be back at home on Wednesday night when it hosts Simpson College at 8:00pm The game is also part of BVU's Community Appreciation Night.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.