France remained perfect at EuroBasket Women 2009 with a 55-43 victory over Turkey to move to 4-0 in the Qualification Round Group F.
The French, who had already booked their spot in the Quarter-Finals before the game, held Turkey to 29 percent shooting and Sandrine Gruda led the way with 20 points and five rebounds.
"She has really improved a lot for us defensively. Offensively, we are working on our game because we have problems with double teams. But of course, she is a great scorer for us and we need her," said French coach Pierre Vincent about Gruda, who also had two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Emmeline Ndongue chipped in nine points and six rebounds while Catherine Melain added four points, four rebounds and six assists off the bench.
The undefeated French will play the Group F finale against reigning champions Russia, who also have a 4-0 record.
Third-placed Turkey dropped to 2-2 in Group F despite 12 points by Tugba Palazoglu and 10 points by Birsel Vardarli, who had four assists but also five turnovers. Nevin Kristen Nevlin added eight points and four rebounds.
"We knew before the game that they play really hard inside and quick on offense. But we couldn't stop them," said Turkey coach Ceyhun Yildizoglu.
"We never gave up in the game. In the last period we almost tied the game. We didn't play very good on offense in the last quarter and lost a very, very important game for us."
Turkey started the game cold offensively with just one basket in the first 3:30. Gruda meanwhile knocked down three straight jumpers and Celine Dumerc followed with a triple as the lead grew to 10-2.
Saziye Ivegin pulled Turkey within 10-7 with a three-pointer only to see Gruda answer with another jumper. And France were ahead 14-11 after one period.
Florence Lepron opened the second with a three-ball but both teams continued their struggles to execute offensively.
Gruda was called for an unsportsmanlike foul but Palazoglu made just one of two foul shots before Vardarli failed to convert on the extra possession.
And Melain made the Turks pay with a triple for a 22-16 lead. Emilie Gomis knocked down a three-ball of her own and Gruda's basket pushed the gap to 27-16.
Turkey were able to pull back within 29-20 at intermission.
The offensive problems went on after the break and Gruda's jumper to make it 31-20 was the only basket for either team until Palazoglu's triple with 5:31 in the third.
Bahar Caglar converted a three-point play and Saziye Ivegin and Vardarli both hit from long range as Turkey remained within 38-32 after three periods.
Vardarli was on target from long range to start the fourth and trim the margin to three points - 38-35.
France led only 44-41 when Nilay Yigit hit a lay-up with less than five minutes to play. But Gruda came right back down for a lay-up and the French defense held Turkey scoreless for four possessions.
"We changed our defense at that moment and had a different line-up and we controlled the game after that. A key was having Melain in there. She has so much experience and she knows so much and is really looking for your team-mates," said Vincent.
Ndongue scored an inside lay-up and two free throws and the lead was 11 points again - 52-41 with less than two minutes left. And France would eventually push the gap to 12 points.
Ceyhun YILDIZOGLU, Turkey Head Coach
"We knew that France would play very hard on offense, but we didn't manage to stop them. We never gave up; it was a tight game in the last quarter. We didn't play well on offense, we lost really important game. The Belarus game will be very hard for us, I trust my players, and with good concentration we can achieve success."
Pierre VINCENT, France Head Coach
"I'm very happy for this win. To play with Turkey is really difficult. Even without the best players they are still a very good team. I'm happy how we played on defense we know that we are athletic. We have problems on offense but it's also difficult to score against us. We want to celebrate our victory. I'm an old man I have to rest and drink something, after the meal we will think about the next game with Russia."