A woman’s place is everywhere!

first_imgThese young women added a splash ofcolour to the A Woman’s Placeproceedings with their innovativeheadgear. Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge Members of the Young Women’s Networkdance for joy in the old AssemblyChamber in parliament.(Images: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternOne hundred and fifty nine women from various walks of life met in Cape Town on 27 November to explore the concept of “A Woman’s Place”, as part of the international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.The event was organised from the office of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge. “[It] is a collaboration of various women-focused partners, including parliament and legislatures, government, civil society, trade unions, academia and the corporate sector,” Madlala-Routledge said.The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign that starts on 25 November, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and ends on 10 December, International Human Rights Day. This choice of dates reflects that violence against women is a human rights issue affecting everyone.And it is no accident that the 16 days also includes 1 December, World Aids Day. It is a terrible reality that the spread of HIV/Aids is furthered by physical and economic violence against women and children.Exploring placeThe concept of place is a tricky one. There is physical space, which is easy to understand, but there is also psychic or mental space, social and political space. And they all interconnect.Any good architect, ergonomist or feng shui practitioner can tell you that the physical space you inhabit affects the quality of your life. Any social worker, domestic worker or psychologist can explain how one’s mental state is reflected in one’s surroundings – miserable or depressed people tend not to keep a cheerful and tidy house.“We don’t mean only a physical place like a building,” Madlala-Routledge said. “We also mean every space that women occupy throughout society, from parliament to boardrooms to kitchens to hospital wards to schools to factories and farms … a woman’s place is everywhere.”“A women’s place,” she said later, “is created through movement and interaction, the flow of knowledge, information, commodities, arts and culture, as well as the acknowledgement that structures of power can, and did, limit or contain all of these.”The purpose of the event was to explore this interaction to create a more positive space – “A space where women are free and safe. A space where women’s lives are celebrated – where their voices are listened to,” Madlala-Routledge said.Planned as a consultative process, the discussion focussed on the interpretations of a woman’s place from three different perspectives – women’s place in history, women’s place in government, and women’s place in arts and culture.” Not surprisingly, delegates found that these spaces overlapped significantly.Women’s rights in South AfricaIn South Africa the rights of women are deeply enshrined in our Constitution. This fact is borne out by the impressive gender ratio in local, provincial and national government, where more than 30% of elected representatives are women – a figure that puts us way ahead of most countries in the world.“But that’s not enough,” says Yvette Abrahams of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). “We are launching a 50/50 campaign to get all the parties [standing for election in 2009] to indicate how they stand on 50/50 gender representation in local and national government.”While many South African women do occupy positions of power and yield real influence, the majority of their sisters are living with the triple whammy of poverty, disease and the threat of gender-based violence. For many, life is a daily battle to survive.While unemployment and poverty affect everyone, it is usually women who suffer the most. Disease, too, affects everyone more or less equally, but the status of women is an important factor in the extent and severity of the spread of disease – especially HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.It is an unfortunate fact that, while many women may be perfectly aware of how to protect themselves from these diseases, they are powerless to negotiate safe sex, or even – in many cases – to decide whether they want to have sex at all.It was also made clear during the course of the day, that the need for a woman’s place was not limited to South Africa. If anything, the situation was even more desperate across our borders. Some women from DRC, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Somalia told their stories, offering a poignant and very real view of the dire consequences of being “displaced” – the fear and insecurity of not having a safe place, a place where you can rest secure in the knowledge that you belong.It was a real eye-opener for many present, and a call to action. And it was brought home to many that we can’t live in isolation. The plight of our sisters (and brothers) in the rest of Africa affects us deeply.“We need to connect with women all over Africa before they come to our borders,” said Abrahams.Turning 16 days into 365Everyone agreed that the 16 Days of Activism campaign was a fantastic symbolic event. It was a powerful way of raising awareness of the problem, but 16 days were not nearly enough.“The 16 day programme needs to be expanded to 365 days,” Madlala-Routledge said. But that’s a long process.Delegates were asked to volunteer to join a working group to carry forward the resolutions reached by the consultation. The group, consisting of Abrahams, Bernadette Muthien of the NGO Engender, Rosieda Shabodien of the proposed Women’s Museum and Centre, Diana Gibson of the anthropology department of the University of the Western Cape, Fiona Clayton of the District Six Museum, Nosizwe Madlala- Routledge, deputy speaker of parliament, Lynette Sait of the Office of the Speaker, Rita Edwards of the New Women’s Movement, and Vainola Makan of the Young Women’s Network.These women will meet early in the new year to promote awareness of women’s issues in local and national government, in schools, in hospitals and in the workplace, and will explore ways of creating physical spaces for women.Some of the proposed strategies include a women’s newspaper, the creation of a women’s ministry in parliament, and the construction of a number of multipurpose women’s resource centres in various parts of the country.An interesting project that is in an advanced stage of planning is a proposed women’s museum that will celebrate the contribution of South African women to our history and culture.While there was no doubt in the mind of anyone present that the situation for women in South Africa, the rest of Africa and – in fact – in most parts of the world was pretty dire, it was a cheerful and vibrant affair.The presence of dozens of singing, dancing women rocked the staid walls of the Old Assembly Chamber, where parliament sat prior to 1994, and many attendees mused aloud about staunch apartheid-era politicians like JB Vorster and HF Verwoerd turning in their graves.It was a colourful way of taking ownership of a space that was once very segregated, very white, very male and very hierarchical.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] linksCommission for Gender Equality PeaceWomen ProjectUnited Nations – Human Rights16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and ChildrenWomen’sNetlast_img read more

Williams to lead SA women at Rugby World Cup

first_img18 JuneSpringbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka on Tuesday named 11 players with World Cup experience in his 26-member squad for the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup, taking place in France from 1 to 17 August.The squad will be led by experienced captain and number eight Mandisa Williams, who guided the team in the 2010 showpiece in the UK, as well as at the 2013 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.Players headed to third World CupFour of the 11 players with World Cup experience featured in both the 2006 and 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments in Canada and England. They are Williams, flank Lamla Momoti, prop Cebisa Kula and scrumhalf Fundiswa Plaatjie.The other World Cup survivors are prop Portia Jonga, locks Nomathamsanqa Faleni and Nolusindiso Booi, flyhalf Zenay Jordaan, wing Phumeza Gadu and centres Ziyanda Tywaleni and Lorinda Brown. Another two players in the squad, wing Veroeshka Grain and centre Benele Makwezela, boast Rugby World Cup Sevens experience as they were members of the squad that travelled to Russia last year. The squad has a split of 14 forwards and 12 backs, with Border and the Eastern Province accounting for the most players in the squad, with 10 from Border and six from Eastern Province.‘Sacrifices’“These players have worked very hard and have made many sacrifices in the last few months to work their way into contention for places in the World Cup squad, and their selection is just reward for those efforts,” said Sephaka.“Our main selection criteria were consistency in performances this season and to select players with the best skills and technique, and I believe we achieved that with this group of players. “That said, there is hard work ahead in the next six weeks to ensure that we are at our best when we take to the field in our opening match against Australia on August 1.“Although I am pleased with our preparation in the last few months, we need to step it up to a higher level now, and our warm-up tour to London and France in the next few weeks, will allow us to do this.”Congratulations and encouragementSouth African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux congratulated the players on their selection and encouraged them to give their best at the international spectacle.“It is a huge honour to represent one’s country, and to do so at a World Cup is a privilege only a select few are afforded, so congratulations to the players,” said Roux. “The team certainly faces a tough task given the challenging pool they have been drawn in, but we will be behind them all the way with the rest of the country.” The Springbok Women finished in 10th place in the 2010 World Cup, with their only victory in the pool stages being against Wales. The team’s participation in the tournament has been made possible by a R2.3-million grant from the National Lotto Distribution Trust Fund.Springbok Women’s Rugby World Cup squadForwards: Celeste Adonis (Western Province), Nolusindiso Booi (Border), Nomathamsanqa Faleni (Eastern Province), Rachelle Geldenhuys (Blue Bulls), Portia Jonga (Eastern Province), Cebisa Kula (Eastern Province), Thantaswa Macingwana (Border), Lamla Momoti (Border), Nwabisa Ngxatu (Border), Asithandile Ntoyanto (Border), Vuyolwethu Vazi (Blue Bulls), Denita Wentzel (Western Province), Shona-Leah Weston (Blue Bulls), Mandisa Williams (Border, captain). Backs: Siviwe Basweni (Border), Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province), Cindy Cant (Blue Bulls), Phumeza Gadu (Eastern Province), Veroeshka Grain (Western Province), Zenay Jordaan (Border), Tayla Kinsey (KwaZulu-Natal), Benele Makwezela (Western Province), Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border), Marithy Pienaar (Blue Bulls), Siphosethu Tshingana (Eastern Province), Ziyanda Tywaleni (Border).Springbok Women’s 2014 WRWC Pool FixturesFriday, 1 Aug: SA vs Australia, MarcoussisTuesday, 5 Aug: SA vs France, MarcoussisSaturday, 9 Aug: SA vs Wales, MarcoussisSAinfo reporterlast_img read more

TPA vote moves to Senate

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed a vote from the House that would extend trade promotion authority, or TPA, to President Barack Obama. The bill now moves to the Senate, and is part of an effort by congressional leadership to put TPA back on track following an unexpected defeat of Trade Adjustment Assistance last week that put the legislation in jeopardy.ASA President Wade Cowan, a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas, pointed to the bill as one that would empower the administration, in the form of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), to better represent producers of the nation’s largest farm export heading into finalization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other critical negotiations.“We are again encouraged by the House’s commitment to TPA and encourage the same commitment from the Senate,” Cowan said. “For the better part of a decade, our partners at USTR have been charged with baling a cake without having access to the full complement of ingredients, if you will. TPA would give them the authority and the resources they need to represent most completely the needs of American farmers in global trade agreements.”Cowan also highlighted that TPA is a vital component to completing the pending TPP, as well as upcoming negotiations with Europe.“TPA has always been step one as we look to forge strong agreements that help to make American agriculture — and soybean farmers in particular — so competitive in international markets,” Cowan said. “With TPA in hand, we now turn our attention to finalizing an agreement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that includes vital export markets for U.S. soybeans and meat products, as well as the developing markets that grow in their demand for American soy every day. We look to the Senate to take up and pass this legislation as quickly as possible.”last_img read more

Behind the scenes at CBCs new National Four hosts one big risk

first_imgThey include Rosemary Barton, 41, in Ottawa; Andrew Chang, 33, in Vancouver; and Arsenault, 50, and Hanomansing, 55, in Toronto.“I have to be honest, I don’t care,” says Arsenault, looking over at her co-anchor. Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “We haven’t talked about it. But that tells you a lot. There is no question in my mind that other shows would have figured this out long in advance,” says Hanomansing. “But that has not been the issue.”“I think it will be dictated by the story,” says Arsenault, arriving at a decidedly Canadian solution. “The story should be the boss of us. It’s really not about us.”Less than a week away from the premiere, the tiniest of details have yet to be worked out — but it’s clear there’s a lot at stake. Following the retirement of anchor Peter Mansbridge, it’s the first time in 29 years that The National will have new permanent hosts.READ MORE Advertisement Who’s on first?Inside the frosty fourth-floor Toronto studios of the newly revamped The National, hosts Ian Hanomansing and Adrienne Arsenault say they have absolutely no clue.“Actually, no one’s even contemplated who’s going to kick off the first show,” says Hanomansing, sitting at the Lucite-and-steel desk that will debut when the CBC’s flagship news show airs Monday (Nov. 6th) at 10 p.m. with a historic four hosts. Adrienne Arsenault and Ian Hanomansing go through their paces on recently the new set of The National in Toronto, with the other national hosts, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang joining them virtually. (RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR) Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

Husky Energy walks away from its hostile takeover bid for MEG Energy

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Husky Energy Inc. is walking away from its hostile takeover offer for MEG Energy Corp. after failing to win enough shareholder support.Husky says there have also been several negative surprises in the market since it first announced its offer at the end of September last year.The company cited production cuts for the oil industry mandated by the Alberta government and a lack of progress on Canadian oil export pipeline developments. The company’s offer for MEG expired Wednesday.All of the MEG shares that had been tendered to the offer will be returned to shareholders.Husky launched its stock-and-cash offer in September, but MEG rejected the bid as too low.last_img

Facebook joins top Indian music labels

first_imgMumbai: Facebook on Thursday announced to partner top music labels in India that will let its nearly 300 million users in the country express themselves with music on its platform as well as Instagram. With the partnerships with T-Series Music, Zee Music Company and Yash Raj Films, Facebook will allow the users to include their favourite music in videos, messages, posts, stories and other creative content. “People will now be able to include music in their videos on Facebook and Instagram, opening up more options for more ways to express and sharing memories with friends and family,” said Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Facebook has partnered with the music community in more than 40 countries. “We’re introducing a new feature: from a song on your profile, we’re making it possible to tap through to Spotify so people can listen to the full song and discover more from that artist. “We’ll be adding other partners in the near future as well,” the company said in a blog post. The Spotify feature, however, is yet to come to India. According to Anand Gurnani, Vice President-Digital, Yash Raj Films, “our association with Facebook offers a chance for audiences to experiment and express themselves through music and share the same with their friends”. “We have one of the largest catalogue of songs. Today’s digitally-savvy consumers are ultra-creative and it will be interesting to see how they re-purpose our music and videos to say what they want the world to hear,” added Neeraj Kalyan, T-Series President and Digital head.last_img read more

Recognising the contribution of queen of sarod

first_imgThe 90th birth anniversary of the legendary queen of sarod, late Guru Sharan Rani is being commemorated with an event in the Capital. As the foremost woman practitioner of the sarod, a handpicked and personally trained disciple of late Baba Allauddin Khan, Guru Sharan Rani pioneered a revolution by making sarod a woman-friendly classical instrument. Her personal contribution to the art of playing sarod, by introducing the instrument to hundreds of music lovers worldwide through innumerable concerts held at prestigious platforms in India and abroad, remains legendary. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIn keeping with her pristine status and appeal, a commemorative evening is being organised by her daughter Radhika Backliwal Narain, wherein a Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the country’s ace Mohan Veena Vadak. The event will be held on April 7, at India International Centre. The event will also see a live concert recital by the maestro, where he will be accompanied by his son and disciple Salil Bhatt, on the Satvik Veena. Tabla accompaniment for the same will be provided by Ram Kumar Mishra. For connoisseurs and music aficionados, there will be an opportunity to relive the Sharan Rani era through a short film of 29 minutes, featuring snippets from the musical journey of the Sharan Rani. The film has been directed by Radhika Backliwal Narain and deftly takes into account the personal, musical and international makeover along with the professional excellence of this performer.last_img read more

The DAntoni Basketball Revolution Goes To College

Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni was angry. His team had been down 20 points at halftime during a late December non-conference game against Pittsburgh (“We looked like we were running in mud,” he said), had exploded in the second half, scoring 1.45 points per possession on a variety of back-breaking 3-pointers and half-court cuts that led to easy layups, and still lost. Any team that can drop 68 points in 20 minutes should win the game, but the final score was 112-106 in favor of Pittsburgh. “We booted it,” he said. When a reporter questioned whether the team’s high number of 3-point attempts might explain the loss, he got testy.Decked out in his customary Marshall basketball t-shirt and a dark blazer, D’Antoni unspooled what he referred to as his “daggone analytics story”: “The last two championships have been Cleveland and Golden State,” he said, talking about the NBA. “What did they do? You don’t see anybody post up. They just spread that thing out and go.”D’Antoni became an overnight exemplar of analytics. But can an NBA blueprint remake a mid-major team with subpar talent in the NCAA?When I asked D’Antoni about his quote, he said that he didn’t mean to embarrass the reporter but, “I could’ve said, ‘Of all those five players on the floor, how many of them do you think we had rated higher for college play than [Pittsburgh] had?’ And we’re within a few points of them. That’s like going to the playground and giving the other team the first five picks, saying, ‘Let’s play,’ and then when they win, saying they outcoached us. Give me a break.”This is D’Antoni’s third season at Marshall, after roughly a decade as an NBA assistant, where he coached alongside his younger brother, Mike, in Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles. Thus far, his tenure has mostly been a success. Before he arrived in Huntington, Marshall had been known more as a stepping stone for rising coaches, such as Billy Donovan and Donnie Jones, than for any on-court successes: the team had finished under .500 nine times since 2001-02. The Herd won 17 games in 2016 (the record marked Marshall’s fifth-highest win total in the 2000s) and quickly notched 14 wins this season before a three-game losing streak the past two weeks sapped some of the squad’s momentum. Now tied for fifth in Conference USA, the Herd have an uphill climb to make it to the NCAA tournament. They face arguably the conference’s toughest February slate — UAB, Old Dominion, and Middle Tennessee all loom during this next week; they’ll likely need a run through the CUSA tournament to make it to the dance.D’Antoni isn’t your usual coach. As I prepped for our interview, I read an article about D’Antoni that mentioned he once said he hugged a tree in his front yard each morning. When I asked D’Antoni about it, he said, “I believe there is a connection between here and somewhere else, and since the tree is a living thing, I connect through it and thank it for everything I have been fortunate to have.” But perhaps even more compelling is his attempt to transform Marshall, a team composed of borderline DI players, a walk-on, and an ex-DII player, into one of the nation’s most analytically efficient offenses.“If you do just the ordinary, you’ll lose, so you have to do something unusual to beat people more athletically gifted than you,” D’Antoni said.For the Marshall coach, that means streamlining an offense so that his players are executing each possession with the intent of taking the most efficient shot possible. And D’Antoni knows all of the percentages. “I’ve told our players the numbers forever,” D’Antoni said. “When you look at offense, it’s not about the overall scheme — it’s about the actions within an offense, and you have to know the best odds for scoring.” Using data culled from the NBA, which D’Antoni contended still applies to the college game, a corner 3, which is worth 1.27 points per shot, is the best shot in basketball. The next best shot? “Any other three,” he said. A lay-up — “a clean lay-up,” D’Antoni stresses — is even better: 1.8 points per shot.1According to the NBA’s most recent data, a shot in the restricted area is worth 1.21 points per shot, while a 3-pointer above the break — that is, an attempt either atop the perimeter or on the wing — is 1.06 points and a corner 3 is 1.21 points.Which is why Marshall never stops shooting. Roughly 43 percent of the team’s attempts are from beyond the arc, squaring Marshall within Division I’s top 50 (per Ken Pomeroy), and according to Synergy Sports, Marshall scores 1.08 points per spot up (1.17 points per catch and shoot), which is bested by only 23 other DI squads. “I don’t know if there is another team in the country that does as many shooting drills as we do,” said Austin Loop, a junior guard with the third-best overall offensive rating in Division I and who has converted 49 percent of his 3’s. Perhaps not coincidentally, Marshall scores at one of the country’s most efficient clips, dropping 1.11 points per possession, which is the highest ever for a D’Antoni-coached team (and good for the top 60 nationally).“We go over every stat that the coaches keep,” Ryan Taylor, Marshall’s senior stretch-4, said. That includes game-by-game plus/minus reports, which are presented to the Herd via a white board in their locker room, as well as intensive film sessions and Synergy analysis (provided by D’Antoni and the rest of the coaching staff). “Coach D’Antoni wants us to make at least 36 percent of our 3’s, which equates to 52 percent on 2’s,” Taylor elaborated.2If Marshall were to connect on 36 percent from deep, it would actually equate to 54 percent of their 2’s. “Taking 3’s is easier for us — since it is farther away from the basket, it isn’t contested, and then it opens up our offense even more.”D’Antoni didn’t naturally warm to this style of play. During his initial years as a high school coach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he coached conservatively: “My teams were constantly posting up and taking contested 2’s, which are essentially worthless. Those shots only count for .78 points and are the worst shot in basketball.”His thinking didn’t change until a late-1980s conversation with Mike, then playing in Europe, who relayed the revolutionary impact of the 3-point shot overseas. Dan began to eliminate post ups and mid-range jumpers, and he emphasized 3-point attempts and pick-and-rolls. He continued to fine-tune his offensive approach after he ditched the high school ranks and followed his brother to Phoenix as an assistant, where the two coined the phrase “athletic ball,” a concept D’Antoni brought with him to Marshall: “Instead of a player creating a scoring opportunity, you move the ball quickly so that the ball creates the opportunity. That way, a player who isn’t as athletic but is skilled can play against anybody. As long as the ball is free flowing, it’ll get to the place where that guy is capable of making that shot.”As Mike explains, “Something has to be athletic enough on the floor if your players aren’t, and the ball zipping around accomplishes that.”That’s being put to the test at Marshall. D’Antoni arrived at the college game at a fitting moment. Since 2002, DI’s 3-point field goal attempts rate — the percentage of shots taken beyond the arc — has jumped from 32.1 to 36.2 percent, the highest it has ever been. What works for Cleveland, Golden State and the majority of the NBA — spacing the floor through the 3-pointer — has finally begun to saturate the DI level, and thanks to the years D’Antoni spent on the NBA sidelines, Marshall has been a leader in this strategic shift (the Herd’s 3-point attempts rate jumped from 34 to 42 percent in his first season).As the team’s 14-11 record makes clear, though, change takes time. What D’Antoni is preaching clearly works at the NBA level, but his players are not of that caliber, and the learning curve — even 90 games into his tenure — is still much steeper.During Marshall’s recent losing streak, the Herd made just 30 percent of its 3’s and scored an anemic 1 point per possession. D’Antoni spends each practice teaching his players what constitutes a good shot from a bad shot in his free-flowing and fast-paced offense, but the line separating the two is still very much open for interpretation when the players take the court.“If you watch us play, we still take a lot of bad shots,” said former assistant coach Chris Duhon, who spoke with FiveThirtyEight before he resigned in January after an arrest for driving with a license revoked stemming from a DUI. “We haven’t mastered that process yet.”“Obviously they take some bad 3’s, but heck, if I coached any other way, they’d take some bad 2’s,” D’Antoni said. “But I don’t want players looking over their shoulders to see what is a good shot or not. Our offense gives them a freedom to play the game and use their own smarts to create good shots. Let them choose.”This is the only way D’Antoni knows how to coach, and as a self-described “gunslinger,” the only way he believes Marshall will succeed is through what he calls his ‘organized chaos’ offense. “There is more to it than just saying, ‘Here’s an analytic game plan, let’s do it,’” he said. “I may have opened up how the game is played, but I never want to stand pat.”He continued, “I am a big believer in risk. You have to know how to bet, know the odds, and have a feel for everything. How far along I am with my coaching and whether it’ll work, I don’t know. I tried to figure out the odds, and I just know what I’m coaching at Marshall presents us the best odds for winning.” read more

Mens basketball Buckeyes need a win at Iowa to stay even with

Ohio State sophomore guard C.J. Jackson (3) and junior forward Jae’Sean Tate walk down the floor in the second half against Northwestern on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorWhen Ohio State (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten) began conference play 0-4, it appeared the Buckeyes would be left in the dust as the rest of the conference would separate themselves from the pack. However, for some, it’s more difficult to leave the nest than it is for others.The current state of the Big Ten has nine teams separated by just one game from fifth place to 13th. OSU is one of six teams at 3-5 and a game behind three teams at 4-4. Coach Thad Matta said he hasn’t been paying close attention.“I’m more just like, ‘let’s just keep winning basketball games,’” he said. “In the end, I am aware of this, that (Saturday’s) game turns the halfway point. I think that there’s still so much that has to be done, but I guess that there is a log jam or whatever. But we’ll see how it plays out.”Whether he realizes the traffic in the heart of the Big Ten standings or not, Matta is well aware the Buckeyes can’t afford a stumble on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes (11-10, 3-5 Big Ten) who are also fighting for relevance in the arduous Big Ten. The Buckeyes have done themselves a favor by beating Michigan State and, most recently, Minnesota at home — two teams currently projected in the NCAA tournament according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Three weeks ago, OSU looked totally overmatched against conference competition, giving reason to believe that the season could be the worst finish in the Big Ten in Matta’s tenure. Since then, OSU has gone 3-1 against three teams who are in strong consideration for at-large bids come March.But what was absent in all of that talk was the fact that two of OSU’s five conference losses have come by a combined total of three points and the team has played through the third-toughest Big Ten schedule to date. That’s just a couple reasons why Matta has been telling the players that the season isn’t over and there’s still plenty to play for after what was a bleak beginning.“You know, we’re not out of this yet,” junior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “It’s a tight race. Anything can happen. We just got to go out there every game we play and try to win and the rest will take care of itself.”Iowa is eerily similar to OSU thus far. The Hawkeyes have the second toughest conference strength of schedule, behind Illinois, and have performed well at home, but poorly on the road. All three conference wins for coach Fran McCaffery have come at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including a victory over then-No. 17 Purdue. Like Iowa, the Buckeyes haven’t performed well away from home. OSU is shooting roughly 44 percent from the field on the road compared to better than 47 percent on its home floor. Likewise, Iowa is six percent worse shooting away from home. The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes also have both been blown out on the road to two teams at the top of the conference — Wisconsin and Northwestern, respectively.The Buckeyes have struggled with performing well from the tip on the road. Against Minnesota, OSU led by as much as 17 in the first half, which is the opposite of what usually happens away from Columbus. OSU has seen first-half deficits of 18 at Minnesota, 18 at Wisconsin and 12 at Nebraska.“I don’t know why that is,” freshman forward Andre Wesson said. “We definitely got to fix that because that definitely can’t happen again. We got to continue to do what we did, just build on what we did against Minnesota.”Regardless of the trend so far this season, OSU has to break its spell and find a way to capture a win at Iowa to avoid falling behind the ball in the Big Ten.“Where we’re at right now, our room for error is very tight,” Tate said. “Going in there and we’re going to give it the best we got and build on this last game.” read more