France battled their way to a 59-55 win over Croatia in Crikvenika on Wednesday in the opening game of their EuroBasket qualifying campaign.
In a close game, France went into the fourth quarter with just a one-point lead, 41-40, but never trailed despite the best efforts of their hosts, who pushed all the way to the death.
Endene Miyem's free-throws put France ahead, 57-53 with 1:17 remaining but Luca Ivankovic reduced the deficit back to two points almost instantly with a jump shot.
Marta Cakic fouled Emmeline Ndongue and Croatia had the chance to tie the game as she missed both her free throws.
But Ndongue made up for her misses by blocking Ivankovic's jump shot.
Celine Dumerc then made a pair from the charity stripe with 21 seconds to put France over the top.
Miyem led France with 15 points, while Ana Lelas was Croatia's top-scorer with 12.