Team USA Vs. Croatia, Women's Olympic Basketball: U.S. Pulls Away For 81-56 Victory

July 16, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; United States guard Diana Taurasi (12) dribbles the ball against team Brazil at Verizon Center. Team USA won 99-67. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Team USA started slow, but ended up with a blowout win over Croatia to open Olympic play.

After a slow start and an underwhelming first half, Team USA did what it has done in its last four Olympics appearances in women's basketball: dominate. The U.S. used a massive fourth quarter to pull away for an 81-56 win over Croatia in its opening game on Saturday.

Tina Charles led the U.S. with 14 points, and the Americans used a 28-9 fourth quarter to finally put away a feisty Croatian team that trailed by just three points at halftime.

The U.S. couldn't shoot at all early on, but smothering defense made the score of the Americans' opener in the 2012 Olympics just 11-4 after the first quarter. But while Team USA eventually got closer to 50 percent from the field on the night, Croatia shot just 33 percent from the floor, and made just six of its 24 threes.

Still, Croatia had a far better showing in this game than last Saturday's clash with the Americans, which Team USA won 109-55.

Next up for Team USA in group play: a Monday match-up with Angola.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.

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