Hughes was fouled while sinking the game-tying 3 from near midcourt. He hit the free throw and Appalachian State turned it over.
Appalachian State took a 98-93 lead with one minute left after Jacob Lawson's fast-break dunk. Hughes answered with a layup and after an empty possession for the Mountaineers, Jake Allsmiller made two free throws to cut Georgia Southern's deficit to 98-97 with 10 seconds left. Lawson hit two from the stripe with five seconds left for a three-point lead.
Freshman Tookie Brown scored a season-high 34 points for Georgia Southern (7-11, 3-5 Sun Belt). Hughes finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Frank Eaves set a Holmes Center record with a career-high nine 3-pointers for Appalachian State (5-14, 3-5). He finished with 37 points and freshman Ronshad Shabazz added 29.