Hungary missed the opportunity to record their first win in the EuroBasket Women 2009 qualification series. With 17 seconds remaining in the game Anna Vajda had the chance to tie the game from the foul line but split the pair.
Hungary did give themselves one more chance with a late steal by Zsofia Fegyverneky on Céline Dumerc. She then fed the ball to Barbara Semsei, who fired off a shot as the game-ending buzzer sounded. Yet she failed to connect.
The game started with Hungary setting up a solid defence that kept France at bay while they opened up an early lead (8-4) after four minutes of play.
France finally found a solution to break down the defence as they went on a 9-0 run with Emméline Ndongue doing most of the damage. However they were unable to profit from their dominance as they allowed Hungary too many second chance opportunities to stay in contact. But France led (15-13) after the first period.
The second quarter turned into a battle of the inside players from Hungary Petra Ujhelyi (left) and Tijana Krivacevic against the ever present Ndongue and Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui from France.
The Hungarian inside players though started to find their way to the basket as their side regained the lead (26-21). Ndongue, once again, came up big for France offensively. By the time Céline Dumerc hit a pair of free-throws, France were back in front (31-30). The two sides went into the locker room all square (35-35).
With Ndongue (left) well guarded, it was the turn of Sandra Dijon-Gérardin to bombard the Hungarian defence. France were forced into making errors and turned the ball over a number of times. This allowed the host to regain the lead (41-37). France were back on level terms as they hit back on fast breaks to go into the final period ahead (49-45).
Dora Horti hit the first three-pointer of the match as Hungary went all out to get back into the game. Anna Vajda was also to score from the land of many as she hit two free-throws as Hungary once again regained the lead (54-53) with seven minutes to play.
France managed to get back in front after 6 consecutive points (61-57) but there was still five minutes to play. With the home fans performing the duties of the sixth man Hungary reduced their deficit to a single point (62-63) as the game entered money-time.
Endene Miyem was to hit two free-throws but her joy was short lived as Vadja hit a three-pointer (only the third one of the match) to level the score (65-65).
Ndongue was to put France in front for the last time in the match (67-65) leaving Hungary 26 seconds to save the game.
For France Ndongue led the scoring with 18 points and was joined in double digits by Miyem and Yacoubou-Dehoui with 12 and 10 points apiece.
For Hungary Vajda scored 17 points.
France top Eurobasket Women qualifier Group C with a 3-0 record. In the other game in this group the Slovak Republic beat Romania (93-59).