Chudier Pal added a career-high 17 points, 15 coming in the first half, for Asheville (6-7, 2-0 Big South). Hughes made 8 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Pal hit all seven of his field goal attempts in the first half and scored his 15th point to give Asheville a 33-17 lead with 2:40 left. Asheville made two 3-pointers and two free throws in the final two minutes for a 41-24 halftime lead.
Jarvis Davis scored 16 points for Gardner-Webb (9-6, 1-1), and Tyrell Nelson and Tyler Strange added 10 apiece.
UNC Asheville had 26 assists on 31-of-63 shooting (49.2 percent), compared to just nine assists on 17-of-60 shooting (28.3 percent) for Gardner-Webb.