Dwight Powell scored 18 of his career-high 27 points in the second half as Stanford beat San Francisco 74-62 Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Powell left the game with an apparent left knee injury with 1:35 remaining.
Josh Huestis added 11 points for the Cardinal, who improved to 23-2 in their past 25 openers.
Freshman Avry Holmes came off the bench to score 17 points, Cole Dickerson added 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds and De'End Parker had 13 points for the Dons.
The game marked the return of Mark Madsen, who played nine years in the NBA after graduating from Stanford. The two-time All-American joined the staff of coach Johnny Dawkins.
The Dons produced their first 20-win campaign in 31 years last season. Cody Doolin is their lone returning starter, with Dickerson another top returner.
Stanford, meanwhile, returned four starters from its NIT title team. The Cardinal were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12.
In a game at Oracle Arena, the Cardinal opened the second half on a 14-3 run, with Powell scoring half of the points, to open a double-digit lead.
Stanford held a 14-point advantage midway through the first half before the Dons went on a 24-9 run, led by Holmes, who hit four of his first five shots, to take a 31-30 lead.
The Cardinal hit a shot at the buzzer to take a 32-31 edge into intermission.