Center Sandrine Gruda had 12 points and seven rebounds for France. Emmeline Ndongue added 11 points.
French basketball legend Cathy Melain was scheduled to retire from competition this year, but put off leaving the game to compete in this year’s EuroBasket. She finished with two points and six rebounds.
France returned to the final in only their second appearance in the tournament since they won the gold medal in 2001 when they beat Russia, 73-68.
They qualified for the final after beating Belarus, 64-56, in Friday’s semifinals.
In the fourth quarter, Russia did not make it easy for France to maintain the lead they held for the previous three periods. France led at the half, 30-19.
In the fourth quarter, with less than two minutes to go, Russia came within four points but could not overcome the deficit.
Maria Stepanova led Russia with 13 points, six rebounds. Olga Arteshina had 12 points and Becky Hammon added nine.
Hammon, who was missing two games with her WNBA team, the San Antonio Silver Stars, to play for Russia, led all scorers in her squad’s semifinal match. She scored a game-high 28 points as they beat Spain, 77-61.
In the Bronze Medal Game, Belarus fell to Spain.
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