A new European record crowd of 26, 135 watched France outclass Turkey 76-53 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals of EuroBasket 2015.
Turning Point: France assumed complete control of the contest after an Evan Fournier steal and subsequent breakaway dunk to tie the scores at 25 midway through the second period. This kick-started a 14-1 run into the third quarter, which sapped the spirit from their opponents. The hosts' dominance only increased in the second half to the point where La Marseillaise rang around the packed arena in celebration at the beginning of the final stanza.
Stats Don't Lie: France's superior depth was a real factor in this one as Vincent Collet got 35 points from his bench while Turkey's reserves only contributed 13. The French were merciless once they had the lead. Their six blocks and 10 steals - the joint most in the competition so far - demonstrated how they managed to maintain a high level of intensity throughout.
Game Hero: Fournier provided a real spark off the bench, as well as several highlight plays on his way to 12 points. But Joffrey Lauvergne was extremely effective in giving France something different to their starters in terms of an inside threat. He finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, although this was a true team effort.
The Bottom Line: Not enough of Turkey's key performers did enough to challenge the hosts after the first quarter. Collet's men set up a quarter-final with Latvia on Tuesday and will go into the game with every player full of confidence having seen court time. On paper this looked like one of the toughest draws in the round, but France made light work of their opponents and appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
They Said: "We kept pushing, pushing and pushing. We knew they were going to get tired because they are six or seven guys and we have 12 guys" - Nicolas Batum