Ksenia Tikhonenko showed her true class in the final minutes of the game, finishing with a double-double
A devastating late run by Russia condemned France to a third straight loss at the U20 European Championship Women after they edged a tense and gripping Second Round clash in Debrecen by 62-59.
It was a truly crushing blow to coach Gregory Halin and his French players whom, after four games, only has a solitary victory to their name which was against Relegation Round participants Portugal.
They could and should have made amends for two disappointing defeats in the First Round with a win against Russia but blew a nine point advantage with only five minutes left on the clock after Sara Chevaugeon drained a three-pointer.
It was a brutal and physical encounter with Russia looking as if their worrying habit of turning the ball over far too much was going to haunt them. But, they showed copious amounts of courage and belief to get the job done - if only just and having spilled the ball 24 times.
Ksenia Tikohnenko had endured a below par game up offensively until the last five minutes when she showed her true quality with three consecutive moves under the hoop to spark the Russian revival.
And, it was completed as Svetlana Efimova dropped a downtown score with less than ninety seconds left to give Russia the lead.
A free-throw by Christelle Diallo tied things with 21 seconds left but Russia came up with the plays - and free-throws they needed to take the win at the death.
Tikhonenko finished with 12 points and 11 boards although Darya Namok and a highly efficient 10 points was of paramount importance.
Adja Konteh was unfortunate to be on the losing team after a game-high 19 points for France.