LONDON — The U.S. women's basketball team looked nothing like the squad that is expected to dominant the Olympics.

Maybe it was first-game nerves or a hangover from the opening ceremonies. The U.S. had to overcome a sloppy performance Saturday before finally putting away Croatia 81-56 in the opener.

"We have five players who have never been in the Olympics before so they are going to be nervous. Everybody was a little nervous," coach Geno Auriemma said. "We're better than we showed, but I don't know that we're going to be great right off the bat."

The U.S., which got back to its hotel at 3 a.m. after the opening ceremonies, struggled for the first three quarters before winning its 34th consecutive Olympic contest.

The U.S. only led 53-49 early in the fourth quarter.