It wasn't Dee Bost's best effort, but sealing dunk 58 victory over Tennessee.
Bost made a three-pointer for a 59-53 lead with just over three minutes left in regulation, but missed jumpers on the Bulldogs' next two possessions.
Kenny Hall dunked off an inbounds pass to pull Tennessee within four, and after Arnett Moultrie made 1-of-2 from the foul line at the other end, Renaldo Woolridge drained a three-pointer with 44.2 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to two.
Bost's ill-advised pass was picked off by Skylar McBee to give the Volunteers a chance to tie or take the lead, but Bost made up for his sixth turnover by picking Trae Golden's pocket at midcourt and throwing down a one-handed slam.
Bost, who shot 3-for-11, finished with 13 points, as did Moultrie and Renardo Sidney for Mississippi State (14-3, 1-1 SEC).
Golden netted 20 points to pace the Volunteers (8-8, 1-1), who had won five of six coming in, including a win over nationally-ranked Florida last Saturday.