Referees: Sreten Radovic (CRO), Martynas Gudas (LTU), Ioannis Foufis (GRE)
France Hold Off Latvia Comeback
France fought off a bout of late nerves to barely survive a second half meltdown, holding off Latvia 57-53 in Group E of the U20 European Championship for Women.
Two days after France came back from a 24-point second half deficit to shock Serbia, Carine Paul's jumper with 29 seconds left, ended a frantic Latvia comeback from 22 points down midway in the third quarter.
"Yeah, we were very nervous because against Serbia it was the same game. But Carine made a big shot for us. At the beginning of the competition we lost a game but now we are on a good run," said Sarah Michel, whose 13 points paced France.
The French, who lost on opening day against hosts Italy, have collected three consecutive wins to improve to 2-1 in the Qualifying Round Group E.
Doriane Tahane came off the bench for seven points and 10 rebounds while also holding Latvian power forward Sabine Niedola to just 10 points and seven rebounds.
Baiba Eglite was Latvia's main scoring option, hitting for 18 points as Latvia dropped to 1-2 in the group.
Abdou Ndiaye's side used a 9-2 run to open a 20-11 lead after one period, and the advantage grew to 41-20 at the break.
Michel's three-pointer midway through the third quarter gave France a 48-26 lead. But Aivars Vinbergs's Baltic side finished the period on a 13-2 surge for a 50-39 deficit going into the fourth.
Latvia continued to come back only to see Ingrid Tanqueray's triple push the advantage back to 55-44 with six minutes remaining. The Latvians refused to go down without a fight and held France scoreless for 5:30 in pulling to within 55-53 on Anete Steinberga's lay-up. But Paul's jumper proved the winner after Steinberga missed a three-pointer with eight seconds left.