"We did a lot well, but they stopped us from scoring at the end and did a good job of hitting shots at the end," said GCU coach Trent May.
The Antelopes dropped to 13-5 overall and 2-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. Idaho, in first place in the WAC, is 14-7 and 7-0.
"We dug in and competed," added May. "In our losses, we've had chances to win at the end and that's what you want to do. We had those chances again tonight."
Grand Canyon had a two-point halftime lead, 22-20. Johnna Brown led the way with six points. The Antelopes led by as much as 10 in the first 20 minutes, 18-8. The Vandals went on a 20-4 run before the Antelopes regained the lead, 31-30 by getting on the second-half scoreboard with 3-pointers from Kaitlyn Petersen, Astrea Reed and Erica Paskell.
GCU's first 12 points of the half came on threes. August Touchard added a trey to give the Antelopes a 36-35 advantage with 13:02 remaining in the game.
The game had nine ties and 11 lead changes. Idaho won the battle of the boards 52-39 and had 18 rebounds. The Vandals had 26 points in the paint to GCU's 10.
Petersen led GCU scorers with 13. She also had seven rebounds. Brown finished with 10 points and six boards. Asha McDonnell had a team-best eight rebounds. The Antelopes were 8-for-20 from 3-point range.
May said he was encouraged by his club's defense, ranked No. 1 in the WAC, holding Idaho to 58 points. The Vandals came in averaging 86 points in conference games.
GCU takes on Seattle U Saturday 5 p.m. Arizona Time. Fans can follow live stats and live video with links available at www.gculopes.com.