Jabari Bird and David Kravish paced Cal with 16 points apiece, while Richard Solomon and Tyrone Wallace each added 14 points. Cal jumped out to a 49-40 lead at the half and held on down the stretch.
Deonte Burton led Nevada with 26 points in the loss. Burton also added seven rebounds and five assists.
It was a much-needed win for Cal, which had dropped three of its past four games entering Tuesday, including a 72-65 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
With the win, Cal (7-3) remained perfect at home this season. All three of the Bears’ losses this season have come away from Haas Pavilion.
Cal has three more nonconference games remaining before it tips off Pac-12 play against Stanford on Jan. 2.