NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Connecticut had fattened up on a steady diet of cupcakes. Oklahoma's Hollis Price treated the Huskies like an appetizer.
Price scored a career-high 33 points as No. 9 Oklahoma extended its home winning streak to 30 games with a 73-63 victory over the third-ranked Huskies, who suffered their first loss.
Connecticut (9-1) played eight of its first nine games at home against the likes of Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, North Carolina-Asheville and Central Connecticut.
It turned out to be poor preparation for the Sooners, who have beaten Michigan State and lost to Alabama and Mississippi State.
Price scored 14 points in the first half as Oklahoma (9-2) built a 37-24 lead. His 3-pointer with 15:47 remaining established the Sooners' largest advantage at 51-31.
"I thought we played well, especially in the first half," Price said. "We let down a little bit in the second half, but we found a way to win."
The Huskies finally found their stride and used a 15-2 run to get within 53-46 on Ben Gordon's jumper with just under eight minutes remaining. Oklahoma's Johnnie Gilbert scored on a follow shot, but that only briefly halted the momentum.
A foul shot by Emeka Okafor pulled UConn within 59-53 with 3:23 remaining. Connecticut point guard Taliek Brown was called for traveling and Oklahoma used stifling defense on the next two possessions before Price hit four free throws for a 63-53 lead with 1:35 left.
"I was encouraged by our defense in the second half," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Our kids overcame adversity and won. Connecticut was averaging 90 points per game and we came out and held them to 63."
Gordon, who was averaging more than 22 points per contest, made just 5-of-18 shots and fouled out with 12 points. The step up in competition also did in Brown, who had just two points and two assists.
"Ben's a wonderful player," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "He's a large reason why we're 9-1, but he had a very, very poor game. Tonight was certainly not his shining hour."
Price made 10-of-19 shots and led the charge from the foul line by converting all 10 attempts. Oklahoma shot 84 percent (21-of-25) from the line and made 18-of-19 in the final 4:43.
"Hollis came through tonight with his ability to make plays and do the right things," Sampson said. "He's a four-year starter. When I called timeout, Hollis made sure everyone was ready. He said we don't have a chance between winning and losing. "
Oklahoma scored the first seven points of the game and took an early 14-4 lead on a 3-pointer by Price with 14:24 to go in the first half. A basket by Jozsef Szendrei made it 20-7 with 12:44 left.
The Huskies shot just 31 percent (10-of-32) in the first half, although they rebounded to connect at 55 percent (16-of-29) over the final 20 minutes. Tony Robertson led UConn with 16 points off the bench and freshman Rashad Anderson, another reserve, added 10.
Okafor, one of the nation's best centers, collected 15 points and 10 rebounds for UConn. But Oklahoma managed to hold a 40-34 edge on the glass as four players grabbed five.
Ebi Ere was the only other Sooner in double figures with 13 points. Point guard Quannas White left the game with over 11 minutes left before halftime with a knee problem but returned with four minutes left to sink a pair of key free throws.
"I was just trying to help any way I could," White said. "Connecticut was gaining some momentum and I just wanted to get in there and help my team any way I could."
Price eclipsed his previous career high of 30 points set against Tulane on November 25, 2000. He surpassed his season high of 22, which he reached twice.
The Sooners improved to 2-0 all-time against the Huskies, with both victories coming in the last two seasons. One year ago in Hartford, Ere nailed a jumper with 16 seconds to go that proved decisive in a 69-67 victory.