The buzzer sounds as Mississippi State guard Riley Benock releases the potential game winning shot.

The arena erupts in an explosion of noise, but the sound does not please him. The Bulldogs were playing LSU on the road on Wednesday and the noise equaled defeat.

"The D did a good job," Benock said. "I had a good clean look after my pump fake, and I honestly thought it was going in as I let it go, but you have to give the D credit."

Now the Bulldogs are looking to silence the arena against Tennessee on Saturday and to even their record in the SEC as they take on Tennessee (17-11, 7-6 SEC) on Saturday.

Mississippi State (14-13, 6-7 SEC) knows how much a win will mean after its close loss against LSU. Coach Rick Stansbury said he understands the seriousness of the situation.

"With this game coming up on Saturday (against UT), everything is magnified." Stansbury said. "We really need to bounce back and get a win on the road. It will be tough. They won a big game against Vandy, and they will be looking to ride that momentum for as long as they can."

The Bulldogs ran into misfortune as freshman guard and Knoxville native Jalen Steele sustained a severe knee injury during the game against LSU.

"I'm not sure, but I think he tore both of them (ACL and MCL)." Stansbury said. "ACL, MCL whatever it is it was. What matters is that he won't be back for a while."

Though senior guard Ravern Johnson maintains the leading scorer spot, he did not start against LSU , and whether he will start against Tennessee is questionable.

Renardo Sidney and Dee Bost have been picking up the slack in Johnson's absence. The Bulldogs will be looking to their leadership against UT.

"I have just been trying to do my part and help out the team." Bost said.

Mississippi State will try and shut down Tennessee's leading scorer, Scotty Hopson.

"Hopson is a great player, but he can be a little bit inconsistent," Stansbury said. "If we can just stay in his face and make sure he never gains any serious momentum, we can gain the advantage."

After their loss to LSU, the Bulldogs saw their need to improve on their free-throw shooting and stopping turnovers during crucial game situations.

"The game (against LSU) came down to two things: our missed free throws and LSU's second-chance points," Stansbury said. "I think we had a lot of turnovers at crucial times (on Wednesday). We missed a few block-outs as well on Garrett

Tennessee and Mississippi State tip off at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Thompson-Boling Arena.