The UND women's basketball team will play an important Big Sky Conference matchup Thursday night against Montana in Missoula.

But before that showdown, the team has received some good news with more long-term implications.

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Former Minnesota Gophers guard Grace Coughlin has decided to transfer to UND.

Coughlin, a 5-foot-8 Edina, Minn. native, played high school basketball at Benilde-St. Margaret's. She left the Gophers program in January.

Coughlin, who plays both point and shooting guard, plans to come to Grand Forks this summer. She'll have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules. In the 2016-17 season, Coughlin will be a sophomore.

"The (UND) coaching staff played a huge part in my decision," Coughlin said. "Player-coach communication is very important to me, and I feel the coaches at UND are exceptionally good at this.

"I feel very confident that the coaches will help me develop into a better basketball player and prepare me for success, not just on the court but in life."

Coughlin is a 2014 graduate of Benilde-St. Margaret's. She earned all-state honors as a senior, averaging 16.9 points per game. As a junior, she averaged 19.1 points per game.

"I also love UND's incredible community, fan support, academic opportunities and location relatively close to Minneapolis," Coughlin said.

Coughlin, who did not play against UND when the Gophers visited the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center earlier this year, played in five games with Minnesota. She had no points and three assists.