The Lions (8-5) led 42-31 at halftime after shooting 51.4 percent in the opening half (18 of 35), but watched their lead evaporate after the break. Jim Mower hit a 3 and Darion Benbow connected on a jumper to pull Lafayette within 42-36 less than a minute into the second half.
The Leopards (5-10) scored 14 of the next 20 points to take a 50-48 lead with 13:56 left.
A layup from Tony Johnson gave Lafayette a 66-65 lead with 4:15 remaining, but a 7-2 run capped by a 3-pointer from Agho put Columbia in front 72-68 with 1:26 to go.
Mark Cisco pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Lions, who finished 30 for 60 from the field.