"I wanted to win this game so bad," said Sosa shortly after his 8 points, 3 assists and 2 rebound performance in the Cardinals dominating 72-48 win over the Red Storm.
"This was his rivalry game," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino.
The emotions of facing an opposing roster that includes a few athletes quite familiar with the former New York City Co-Player of the Year caused Sosa to struggle with his shot early, but he still managed to direct on offense that built a 16 point half-time lead.
"There are a lot of guys on that team that I know and they were talking trash to me at the beginning of the game," continued Sosa. "I just wanted to win this game so bad, so when I first came out I rushed a couple of shots - I took one or two bad shots. I was just happy that we were ballin' as a team and we had the big lead."
While Sosa had a difficult time finding the basket during the first 20 minutes of play (he hit 3 of 5 in the second half), he and the rest of Rick Pitino's Cardinals played some of their best ball of the season.
"Coach told us that they were a good team and that they were going to play with us to the wire," Sosa said of the Red Storm. "We knew that if we were killed on the boards that we would lose. When they first came out they got seven offensive rebounds in the first ten minutes, so we just buckled down, played defense and went after rebounds."
With it's NCAA post-season hopes firmly on the bubble just two weeks ago, the Cardinals have now won four straight and eight of their last ten contests. The freshman admits that he's noticed a difference on campus and throughout town since the start of the current winning streak, which has all but cemented U of L a spot in the upcoming tournament.
"The atmosphere is great," he said. "We feel it at school when we are walking around campus with our fellow students showing us a lot of love. People all around the city are like that - even when walking around the mall - people are recognizing how good we are playing and that's a good feeling, because we know all of the hard work that we put into it."
Sosa, who has started 26 of U of L's 28 games, is currently the team's second leading scorer with an average of 10.8 points per game. His 42 steals is tops on the team, while his 79 total assists trails only Terrence Williams.
"We're still getting better," said Sosa. "We still have a lot of areas to get better. I know I do personally. I'm trying to make my game better, so when the tournament does come I can play my game."