Hooper, a B£5million summer signing from Celtic, smashed in a 25-yard effort to cancel out Nathan Dyer's early opener.
Hughton said: "It was a fantastic and very special goal.
"Gary is a finisher, technically a good striker of the ball so always gives himself a chance.
"It was set-up very nicely for him by Johan Elmander, but you still have to produce that.
"We conceded a poor goal and needed to get back into the game, we needed someone to produce something and thankfully Gary did."
Hughton was pleased to have seen his side move further away from trouble following a difficult opening to the campaign.
"At the moment I am disappointed we did not get the win, because we know what it would have meant to the league table," he said.
"But it is so tight and there are a very large group of teams outside of that top seven or eight can beat each other, and I don't see that changing.
"We are just pleased that at this moment we are on a decent run and have been able to pick up a few points, but we have to keep that going."