Nick Lindner scored 25 points and Lafayette held off several second-half runs by
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.