Tyrone Wallace scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half and Cal rallied from a nine-point deficit at the break to beat Princeton 67-57.
The Bears improved to 9-1, equaling their start to the 2001-02 season.
Cal has not had a better start to its season since — get this — the 1959-60 season, when the Bears won 28 of their first 29 games before losing in the national championship game.
But the Tigers of the Ivy League gave the Bears a serious scare for a while. Cal, which scored just 15 first-half points on Wednesday in a win over Wyoming, trailed 37-28 at halftime in this one. Princeton led by as many as 11 points midway through the first half.
The Bears used a 15-2 run to battle back from a 44-36 hole to a 51-46 lead with 4:06 left after a dunk by Wallace.
The junior guard, who has made a recent habit of strong second-half performances, also had eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Wallace is averaging 22.0 points over the past five games.
Senior David Kravish scored 11 points and became the 42nd player in Cal history to top 1,000 career points.
Christian Behrens and Jordan Mathews each scored 12 for the Bears, who played their fourth straight game without sophomore guard Jabari Bird (foot). In fact, coach Cuonzo Martin essentially used a seven-man rotation, with only Dwight Tarwater and Roger Moute a Bidias making more than token appearances off the bench.
Cal is off until next Friday, when it continues its homestand against Eastern Washington, which is 8-1 with a road win against Indiana. The Eagles visit unbeaten Washington on Sunday night.