After play got chippy between the Missouri Tigers and a Netherlands National Team, some words were exchanged that led to a surprising ejection, and Mizzou Head Coach Frank Haith had seen enough. After Haith was tossed for questioning a non-call on an elbow to the head of freshman forward Stefan Jankovic he pulled his team from the floor midway through the third quarter.
“In my mind I was just fearful for the safety of our players, but in retrospect I wish I had let our team play it out and learn from the adversity,” Haith said. “I take complete responsibility. This is a learning experience for us all.”
Despite the decision Haith had nothing but praise for the Netherlands National program. “This in no way reflects how the Dutch team played tonight,” Haith said. “They are a great team and for us to be up 25 at the half, we were obviously playing well. I had a split second to make a decision and I chose to err on the side of caution.”
Junior forward Earnest Ross understood the decision. “We are competitors, we want to play, but when we saw the look in Coach Haith’s eyes we knew he had our backs,” Ross said. “We are a family and it feels great knowing your head coach will step out there for you like this.”
Missouri has three games remaining on the exhibition tour, including two games in Belgium starting on Monday against Waragem.