ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Arizona held off a stiff challenge by a couple of inches.
Reggie Bryant's 3-pointer with two seconds left for Saint Louis was changed to a two-point basket as the eighth-ranked Wildcats held on for a 68-67 victory.
Arizona (2-1) took a 68-65 lead on Salim Stoudamire's two free throws with 12.2 seconds left. He made his first free throw as what appeared to be a ball was thrown at him onto the court from a fan. No technical was assessed.
Saint Louis (3-2) went to Bryant, who finished with a career-high 24 points. Bryant, a Villanova transfer, drained a shot that appeared to have tied the game and Arizona inbounded as time expired.
The officials immediately checked the replay, which indicated that Bryant's foot was on the 3-point line, and correctly ruled it a two-point basket, giving Arizona the victory.
"I knew that I stepped forward a little bit, but knew that I didn't have enough time to step back," Bryant said. "I was trying to get them up in the air and draw the foul."
Stoudamire scored 19 points and Andre Igoudala collected 16 and 13 rebounds for Arizona, playing for the first time since last Friday's 78-77 loss to Florida. Hassan Adams added 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
"We felt that we didn't play any defense in the first half," Stoudamire said. "That was the key to the game - getting up, pressuring guys, causing deflections and making them do things that they didn't want to do."
The Wildcats lost center Isaiah Fox to a knee injury in that loss and used only two players off the bench on Saturday. Rodgers was the lone reserve who saw major action and scored 10 points while draining three 3-pointers.
The Billikens led by as many as 12 in the first half and never trailed in taking a 38-30 lead at halftime. The Wildcats used a 21-4 run, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Chris Rodgers, for a 58-50 advantage with just under eight minutes to go.
"Saint Louis played really well and played their game as much as they possibly could," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "They were patient in the early going when they had us down 10."
Saint Louis fought back with a 10-4 burst and Tom Frericks' layup capped it to cut the deficit to 62-60 with 3:37 remaining.
"I was pleased with the way we fought," Billikens coach Brad Soderberg said. "I hope it's a message to our guys that we can compete at a high level."
Four players reached double figures for Saint Louis, which suffered a 91-58 loss at Arizona last season. Anthony Drejaj and Josh Fisher each scored 12 points.