The fourth-seeded Leopards (20-12) became the lowest-seeded team to win the league tournament title — and its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament — in its 25-year history.
After defending champion American (17-16) took 55-53 lead on Marko Vasic's three-point play with 5:07 left, Lafayette got consecutive three-pointers from Seth Hinrichs and Zach Rufer to regain the lead for good.
With Lafayette up 61-60, Lindner made a driving shot with 38 seconds left. After American's John Schoof missed a three-point shot, Lindner made two free throws to seal it.
Lindner, a sophomore point guard, was named tournament most valuable player.
Nevada Coach David Carter was fired after the Wolf Pack lost to Nevada Las Vegas in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament. Nevada had a losing record in four of the last five seasons.