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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Marathon men

   February 21, 1953 -- This was a college basketball game that was like a certain battery advertisement's slogan. It kept going and going and going.

   Niagara and Siena needed six overtimes before the Purple Eagles finally pulled out a victory, 88-81. The game was played in the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany.

   No college basketball game had ever been longer. The record lasted for almost 30 years. Syracuse and Connecticut received national attention for their six-overtime game in the Big East Tournament of 2009.

   Future NBA standout Larry Costello played that game for Niagara. He didn't play the entire game -- merely 69 minutes and 40 seconds of it. In other words, he was on the bench for 20 seconds. After that game, Niagara changed his jersey number from 24 to 69.

   Ed Fleming was even more of an iron man. He played all 70 minutes that night. Sure enough, he took uniform number 70 for his final two seasons.

   By the way, future NBA coach and television analyst Hubie Brown was on the Niagara roster as well that night.

--- Budd Bailey

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