The Buena Vista trailed by 14 at the half and by as many as 17 in the game, but the Beavers came all the way back to build a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, but they couldn't quite hold on in the end as Luther College pulled out the 69-66 victory inside of Siebens Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Erin Gerke did her part for BVU, coming off the bench and scoring a career-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and sinking 4-of-5 at the free-throw line. Holly Schneider also had a big game with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals while Destiny Einerwold also reached double figures with 10 points.
BVU shot 41 percent from the floor in the contest, despite being held to just 3-of-12 from downtown.
It was a back-and-forth game for most of the first quarter with the Norse leading 19-15 after the first 10 minutes. BVU turned the ball over four times over the first two minutes of the second quarter as Luther began to build a lead. The Norse went up by 10 midway through the period and would take a 42-28 led into the break.
The Beavers scored the first four points of the second half to keep within striking distance as they slowly began to chip away at the Luther lead. Gerke brough the team within five with a layup midway through the quarter, but a 6-0 surge by the Norse put them back in front by 11. Jennifer Schneider gave BVU a boost of momentum heading into the fourth quarter as she put in a layup with two seconds left to make it a 56-50 contest.
Gerke scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for the Beavers before Jennifer Schneider drilled a three-point bucket from the top of the key to give BVU its first lead since 2-0. Holly Schneider then followed with a bucket of her own to give the team its largest lead of the afternoon. Luther, however, came back with four straight points to tie things up. The Beavers again led by four at 64-60, but they then went cold down the stretch as Luther used an 8-2 spurt to go in front 68-66 with under a minute to play.
BVU came up empty on their ensuing possession, but then forced the Norse into a shotclock violation with seven seconds left to give itself another chance. After a timeout to advance the ball across half court, Holly Schneider was fouled driving into the lane with under three seconds left and had a chance to tie the game. Her first attempt rolled out, and as she attempted to intentionally miss the second shot, she was called for a lane violation and the ball went back to the Norse.
Satah Holtz scored 20 points to help lead the Norse which improved to 5-7 on the year (3-1 A-R-C). The Beavers, meanwhile, remain winless in conference play at 0-5 and are 5-8 overall. BVU will now travel to Central College on January 9 for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off against the Dutch.