Umea Bskt started its 2014-15 season on the right foot. They played in the Swedish league opener against KFUM Jamtland Basket and came out victorious, 96-83. Umea is a fresh addition to the country’s premier league this season after reaching the finals of the lower BasketEttan in 2013-14. They have managed to clear their first hurdle as a new league entrant and that is to make a statement that they belong here.
Both teams were pumped up for the first game of the season and got off to hot starts, Umea eeking out a slight edge at the end of the first period, 23-21. Jamtland’s offense slowed down in the second quarter, while Umea kept their pace strong and steady, resulting 43-35 halftime score in Umea’s favor. Jamtland was not to be easily dealt with and they came out of the break motivated and focused cutting Umea’s lead to six points at the final intermission. Umea’s offense in the fourth was just too much for their opponents to handle and they outgunned Jamtland as they headed to victory. Jamtland is off to a disappointing start, but it can still make adjustments to get some wins down the road.
Umea got a huge lift from two of their American imports. Omar Krayem set the tone for his team’s success with a game-high 27 points, but the point guard also got his teammates in on the action via his eight assists. He shot well, making 9-of-16 shots from the field and a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line. Germaine Jordan provided the perfect interior counterpoint to Omar’s game. Jordan was a beast in the paint and could not be stopped by Jamtland’s defense. He shot an impressive 9-of-13 from the field en route to a mean double-double performance of 22 points and 12 rebounds. The damage that Umea’s offense dealt was not limited to the tandem. Emil Salon and Kai Williams added 15 and 13 points respectively. Trevor Gruis led Jamtland with 17 points. Jesper Elliasson added 16 points and seven rebounds.