Rowsey's pump fake from the top of the key drew a foul from Tyler Strange.
UNC Asheville is a half-game ahead of five teams with an 8-4 conference record.
UNC Asheville had a 89-82 lead with 2:38 left, but Gardner-Webb's Jerome Hill opened and closed a 7-0 run to tie it at 89-all with 1:20 left.
Hill finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Gardner-Webb (16-10, 8-5). Strange added 14 points and career-high tying 14 assists.
Gardner-Webb scored the final four points of the half to cut its deficit to 47-43 after trailing by 12 points.