Greece suffered its first lost at the U/20s European Basketball Championships, after going down to France 81-71, in Rhodes, Greece.
France out-scored Greece 12-4 in the final 1:15 to knock off the hosts, while in the process remaining undefeated and taking top honours in Group B.
Greece had few answers for the balanced French attack, nor their rebounding dominance, which saw those statistics 54-36 in France’s favour.
Greece’s loss means the side finished second in the group with a 2-1 record, dropping their first game despite 18 points from Nikos Pappas, 16 by Kostas Sloukas, 14 from Charalampos Giannopoulos and Kostas Papanikolaou’s 13 points and seven rebounds.
Greece grabbed the first significant lead of the game at 13-9 before Diot knocked down two triples in helping France pull ahead 22-17 after one period.
The Greeks struggled in the second quarter to get the ball into the paint, settling for long-range shots and France pushed the lead to 29-19 on Heurtel’s three-pointer.
Kostas Missas’s team finally pounded the ball inside and used a decided free throw advantage to cut the deficit to 35-31 at intermission.
France retained the lead in the third quarter, building it to seven points – 43-36 – at one point. But Greece continued to come back to tie the score 50-50 at the end of three periods.
Jackson drained two triples and the French defence held Greece scoreless for the first 3:16 of the fourth period for a 57-50 cushion.
Heurtel added two long balls of his own and Jackson hit again for a 66-55 French lead with four minutes left.
A 12-3 run to brought the hosts within 69-67 with 1:33 left to play. But France pulled away for a comfortable win against the Greeks.