Thomas Heurtel made the game-winning layup with 2.1 seconds left and Antoine Diot poured in 21 points to lead France to an 84-82 victory over Latvia to remain undefeated at the U20 European Championship.
Mikus Sokolovs missed a potential winning three-pointer from nearly 30 feet at the buzzer as Latvia fell to 0-3 in the qualifying round Group E. Janis Strelnieks and Dairis Bertans each scored 20 points and Lauris Blaus had 13 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort.
Heurtel scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and handed out six assists while Kevin Seraphin scored 13 points for the 3-0 French while Fernando Raposo added 11 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Bertans and Oskars Virsis each hit long balls as Latvia grabbed the first significant lead of the game at 16-9. And Varis Krumins's Latvians led 23-19 after one period.
Latvia scored the six straight points early in the second quarter to push the lead to 29-21. But Diot nailed two three-balls and converted a three-point play for nine points in a 20-7 run which also included two unsportsmanlike fouls against Latvia, who fell behind 41-36. Strelnieks however hit a three-pointer at the buzzer from three-quarters court to knot the game at 41-41 at intermission.
The third quarter saw neither team pull away with Raposo scoring seven of France's final nine points for a 57-54 lead after three periods.
Seraphin sparked an 8-3 surge to build a 65-57 advantage. Virsis however hit a big long ball to keep France from running away and Davis Rozitis cut the margin to 67-65 before a Heurtel three-ball. Lamine Sambe nailed a triple of his own but Sokolovs hit from long range to keep Latvia within 73-70.
France twice pushed the gap to six points only to see Latvia continue to come back, eventually evening the game on Bertans two foul shots with 19 seconds - setting up Heurtel's heroics and Sokolovs's failed chance to top the Frenchman.