Nevada (7-4) trailed the Dons 27-26 at halftime, but after Malik Story made a lay-up to give the Wolf Pack a 28-27 lead just 1:29 into the second half, Nevada never trailed again.
The Wolf Pack led by as many as 15 in the second half, but San Francisco (5-3) cut Nevada's lead to two after Cody Doolin hit a pair of free throws to make it 51-49 with 2:41 to play.
Nevada was 17 of 24 from the free-throw line, out-rebounded the Dons 45-30 and forced San Francisco to turn the ball over 18 times.
Shooting guard Jaylen Nowell, ranked No. 45 in the ESPN 100, chose the Washington Huskies on Wednesday over California. As a junior he led Garfield Heights to a state championship and was named MVP of the tournament.
Donnie Tyndall has filed an appeal to reverse the 10-year show cause penalty he received from the NCAA in April for violations that occurred while he was coaching Southern Mississippi.
Top-50 prospect Jaylen Nowell committed to Washington on Wednesday. Nowell, a shooting guard, is No. 45 on the ESPN 100.