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Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press
Tennessee center Yemi Makanjuola (0) looks down court for an open man after pulling down a first half rebound in front of Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie (23) during an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Dee Bost had a crucial steal and dunk on the final possession of the game and No. 20 Mississippi State survived a late scare to beat Tennessee 62-58 on Thursday night.

Mississippi State (14-3, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) avoided its first 0-2 start in league play since 2003. The Bulldogs led by 12 early in the second half, but Tennessee cut it to 60-58 on Renaldo Woolridge's 3-pointer with 44.2 seconds remaining.

Tennessee got the ball back on a steal by Skylar McBee and had a chance to tie or win with seconds remaining, but Bost slapped the ball away from Trae Golden and drove for the game-sealing dunk.

Bost, Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie all scored 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Tennessee (8-8, 1-1) was led by Golden, who had 20 points.