Steven Pledger's 20 points lead four Sooners in double figures as OU moves to 4-0 at home.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- A return home brought a quick end to Oklahoma's five-game losing streak, but not without a second-half scare first.
Steven Pledger scored 20 points, Andrew Fitzgerald added 16 and the Sooners pulled away late to beat Gardner-Webb 71-58 on Thursday night.
The Sooners (4-5) had lost five in a row away from the Lloyd Noble Center but were able to stay perfect at home this season by answering the Bulldogs' 3-point flurry with one of their own.
Gardner-Webb (6-6) cut a 19-point deficit to four by making five of its first six 3-pointers in the second half.
Cade Davis, Carl Blair and Cameron Clark put together their own 3-point rally by connecting on consecutive possessions for Oklahoma to restore the lead to 63-47 with 4:38 remaining.
After giving up 97 points off turnovers during their losing streak, the Sooners committed just 10 - including one in the final nine minutes while putting the game away.
"Going on the road, we have to minimize turnovers," said Blair, who teamed with starting point guard Calvin Newell for 10 assists without a turnover. "That's the biggest thing. We have to play as perfect as possible."
Jon Moore led Gardner-Webb with 14 points, and Luke Davis scored 10. The Bulldogs play at Arizona State on Saturday and at No. 24 Louisville a week after that, completing a stretch with only two of 14 games at home to start the season.
"I'm in some ways kind of concerned about the fragile ego of our team right now with ... two very challenging ones ahead of us in Arizona State and Louisville, and we have been on the road a lot," said first-year coach Chris Holtmann, whose team was picked to finish last in the Big South. "We haven't felt kind of what you can feel at home a little bit when that home crowd's behind you.
"But we've done more here early on than anybody ever expected of us."
Cade Davis scored 15 and Clark, a freshman, had a career-high 13 points for the Sooners.
Stefon Johnson hit a buzzer-beating 3 to cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 34-18 at halftime, and four different players combined to go 5-for-6 from 3-point range to start the second half for Gardner-Webb.
Luke Engelken, Luke Davis and Brian McNair connected during a 9-0 spurt that whittled the deficit to 41-37 with 13:12 to play.
Oklahoma came in ranked 301st of 336 Division I teams in defending 3-pointers, allowing opponents to shoot 39.4 from behind the arc. That number will only go up after Gardner-Webb hit 9 of 18.
"It's definitely a concern," Sooners coach Jeff Capel said. "I think a big part of that is giving up straight-line drives, and it's forcing help. Teams have been good at making extra passes and getting easy shots off us."
After calling time out to stop the run of 3-pointers, Capel put Fitzgerald back in the game despite three fouls. Fitzgerald immediately spun past Santoine Butler and converted a three-point play, and Cade Davis restored the lead to double digits with a 3-pointer.
"Andrew has to understand how important he is to us and not commit silly fouls because we need him on the floor," Capel said. "We're a different team when he's not in the game for us."
After getting back within striking distance, Gardner-Webb - picked to finish last in the Big South Conference - had just one basket over the next 5 minutes.
"That's happened to us a lot where it's been a combination of not being able to get the defensive stops we've needed to at critical times ... and we have had offensive stretches where we struggle," Holtmann said.
The Bulldogs fell behind early by missing nine of their first 10 shots and didn't make their second basket until more than 10 minutes had elapsed.
The Sooners pulled away with a 17-3 run highlighted by Clark's two-handed jam off an alley-oop from midcourt by Blair. Clark also had two steals in Oklahoma's aggressive zone defense, and he and Pledger combined to hit six straight free throws to push the lead to 31-12 with 2:29 left in the first half.
"I thought we were tentative early, and that hurt us, but we got in a little bit of a flow and to our kids' credit, they responded and certainly made a game of it," Holtmann said. "We just couldn't get over the hump."